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Source: The post is based on the article “Centre to promote dragon fruit cultivation in 50,000 hectares” published in The Hindu on 8th July 2022
What is the News?
The Government of India has decided to promote the cultivation of dragon fruit, known as a “super fruit” for its health benefits.
At present, Dragon fruit is cultivated in 3,000 hectares.The plan is to increase cultivation to 50,000 hectares in five years.
What is Dragon Fruit?
Dragon Fruit is the fruit of a species of wild cactus indigenous to South and Central America, where it is called pitaya or pitahaya.
Climatic Condition: Dragon Fruit grows in all kinds of soil, and does not require much water. The plant doesn’t need productive land as it can give maximum production from non-productive, less fertile areas also.
Note: All the States in India except cold areas are suitable for dragon fruit cultivation.
Largest Producer: The world’s largest producer and exporter of dragon fruit is Vietnam. The Vietnamese call it “Thanh long” which translates to “dragon’s eyes”.
– In India, Mizoram tops among the States that cultivate Dragon Fruit.
Benefits of Dragon Fruit: Dragon fruit is considered to be one of the tropical superfoods due to its nutrient richness. It is rich in nutrients and low in calories. It is believed to help in the control of chronic illnesses, improve the health of the alimentary canal and boost the body’s immunity.
Steps taken by State Governments to promote Dragon Fruit: Gujarat Government recently renamed dragon fruit as kamlam (lotus) and announced an incentive for farmers who cultivate it.
– The Haryana Government also provides a grant for farmers who are ready to plant this exotic fruit variety.