Exotic fruits now home-grown, courtesy Malnad weather

In Malnad, exotic fruits have entered the streets where vendors began selling them at an affordable price.
Dragon fruits being sold on the streets of Shivamogga city on Tuesday
Dragon fruits being sold on the streets of Shivamogga city on Tuesday Photo | Express

SHIVAMOGGA: It appears Shivamogga district is setting a model for exotic fruit cultivation and its sale. It was around 2-3 years ago, that the residents of the city started getting foreign fruits like Dragon fruit, Rambutan, Avocado and Macadamia Nut in malls and supermarkets. Those days, the fruits were sold for more than Rs 250 per kg and were not familiar even to people in semi-urban cities. But now in Malnad, these exotic fruits have entered the streets where vendors began selling them at an affordable price.

“For the first time in Shivamogga city, I have come across Dragon fruit and Avocados being sold by street vendors. Heaps of Dragon fruits have hit the Shivamogga market in the past 8-10 days. The vendors are selling the fruit at Rs 100 to 120 per kg and it is affordable,” opined Shanmukha, a fruit stall owner. “Surplus fruits are being supplied to the market that has brought down prices of the Dragon fruit. Besides this, Avocado fruit too is available at Rs 100 per kg that was Rs 300 per kg a year before,” said G N Prakash, deputy director, Department of Horticulture.

“The Malnad weather has paved the way for many foreign fruits’ cultivation. Some years ago, Dragon fruit, Avocado, Rambutan and Macadamia Nut were not known to common people. Now, these fruits are sold by roadside vendors in Shivamogga city. Now, everybody is aware of the fruits which are affordable too,” sources said. Thanks to a group of horticulture farmers who are growing these foreign fruits in a small portion of their land.

Talking to TNIE, G N Prakash said, “Slowly, our farmers have started growing several exotic foreign fruits like Avocado, Rambutan, Macadamia Nut and other such fruits in the Malnad region as the weather is conducive for it. In the coming years, these locally grown fruits will be available in larger quantities. In the neighbouring districts like Chitradurga, Chikkamagaluru and Davanagere too, farmers have started cultivating these fruits.”

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