Agri Business

‘Make wild edible fruit cultivation part of agroforestry, horticultural programmes’

AJ Vinayak Mangaluru | Updated on September 17, 2020 Published on September 17, 2020

Linking the rural wild fruit market with urban supermarkets through digitisation and e-marketing will strengthen the market chain, says expert

There is a need to bring large-scale cultivation of selected wild edible fruits of nutritional and medicinal value in agroforestry, horticultural and reforestation programmes, according to an expert.

Speaking at a national webinar on ‘Wild edible fruits: Status, conservation and sustainable utilisation’, organised by the Kodagu-based College of Forestry, Babu KR, Assistant Professor at the college, said the above measure will be one of the supporting factors for strengthening the market chain and commercialisation of wild edible fruits.

[Wild edible fruits are a sub-component within the wild edible plants in the larger basket of non-timber forest products (NTFPs)].

Need for survey

He suggested the need to conduct reconnaissance survey to identify and stratify location-specific wild edible fruit species based on its biological, ecological and economic suitability.

Stressing the need for the standardisation of value addition processes, he said this could probably limit the unauthorised processing of freely available wild edible fruits.

He also favoured the need to take up promotional activities with regard to large-scale cultivation of selected wild edible fruits of nutritional and medicinal value.

He said that the rural wild edible fruits market should be linked with urban supermarkets through digitisation and e-marketing.

All the above factors can help strengthen the market chain and commercialisation of wild edible fruits, Babu said.

Informal markets

It is time for the stakeholders to become vocal for these local wild edible fruits, he said, adding: “This is where the local people are involved, the local product is involved, and at the same time this is where the local people and local produce is are overexploited.”

He said the markets for a large number of NTFPs are informal and unstructured. The immense varieties of NTFPs make generalisation difficult.

The worldwide acceptance and popularisation of noni fruit and its products is an example for transformation of a wild edible fruit from the unknown to the global market, he added.

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Published on September 17, 2020
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