Plan to increase dragon fruit acreage by 200 hectares in Andhra this financial year

At present, the dragon fruit is being cultivated in 195 hectares in the State.

Published: 10th July 2022 09:34 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th July 2022 09:34 AM   |  A+A-

Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit (Representational Photo | Nandalal, Online Desk)

Express News Service

VIJAYAWADA:  In view of the increasing demand for dragon fruit, the Horticulture Department has evolved an action plan to raise the crop acreage of the exotic fruit by 200 hectares in the state in the current fiscal. The Centre is also planning to promote the cultivation of the dragon fruit, which is called Kamalam in India, in a big way as part of a 5-year strategy.

At present, the dragon fruit is being cultivated in 195 hectares in the State. Further, a proposal under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture is being prepared for encouraging the cultivation of the dragon fruit in the State. It is expected to be submitted to the Centre soon.

According to sources, the demand for the dragon fruit in the State and its export potential is increasing steadily. Research is underway for value addition of the fruit and its byproducts. At present, 1 kg of dragon fruit (two or three) costs anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 400 in the market. “Even if it costs Rs 50 per kg, the dragon fruit will bring rich dividends to growers,” said Badam Srinivasa Reddy, who has been cultivating the dragon fruit on his five acres at Chalivendram village in Darsi Mandal of Prakasam district.

Speaking to TNIE, Srinivasa Reddy said he took up the cultivation of dragon fruit five years ago. He has adopted modern methods of cultivation to reap a good yield. He has installed sprinklers to water the crop, besides following the best management practices.

There are four varieties of dragon fruit -- American Beauty, Taiwan Pink, Moroccan Red and C 100. American Beauty tastes sweeter than other three varieties. An initial investment of Rs 5 lakh is needed per acre. After every year, Rs 50,000 needs to be spent per acre as a recurring expenditure. The lifespan of the dragon fruit tree is around 25 years.

The plant starts yielding the dragon fruit in the second year itself. However, it is advisable to start harvesting the fruit from the third year for commercial purposes. The crop yield increases steadily, the horticulturist explained. A national conclave on Kamalam was held in New Delhi recently to promote its cultivation in a big way.  In the conclave, a 5-year strategy to promote the cultivation of dragon fruit has been mooted.



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