In a boost for Atmanirbhar Bharat, farmers in Gujarat's Kutch are cultivating vitamin-rich Dragon fruit, an exotic fruit that originally belongs to South America and is also cultivated hugely in South East Asia, Taiwan, Australia, tropical and sub-tropical regions. Now, over 150 farmers in Gujarat's Kutch are cultivating this fruit in approx 700-800 acres of land.
The cultivation of the Dragon Fruit unlike other fruits is not easy in India and is largely grown in South America, China and Vietnam. However, a farmer named Haresh Thakkar, started its cultivation in Asha Pura farms near Bhuj. Thakkar, who started cultivating the Dragon Fruit in 2014-2015, learned the technique from China, Vietnam producing in the fruit.
Since Kutch is a no cultivation zone and given that the fruit is not easy to cultivate in India, Thakkar used a different technique by growing it in the cement rings. The Dragon Fruit does not require absolute pure water for its cultivation process.
Getting inspired from Thakkar, other farmers in the region too followed the suit and started producing fine quality of the Dragon Fruit. Thakkar was also the part of a delegation of Vijay Rupani which went to Uzbekistan. There he invited concerned people to come to India and witness how the high-vitamin fruit was being grown in India. Gujarat governor also visited Thakkar's place where he grows this fruit.
On Sunday, PM Modi in Mann Ki Baat mentioned about the Dragon fruit farming in arid Kutch region of Gujarat. He praised the farmers of Kutch for cultivation of this imported fruit so that India can be self-reliant.
In a report by All India Radio (AIR) Ahmedabad, it said that originally, the Dragon fruit belongs to South America and mostly India is importing this nutritious fruit. But now, the farmers of Kutch region in Gujarat are cultivating this fruit on a large scale as a part of Atmanirbhar Bharat.
The significant level of vitamin C is helping to fight chronic disease by boosting the immune system. Farmers in Kutch district said that they are getting good prices of Dragon fruit from hotels and restaurants. A large number of farmers in Bhuj, Gandhidham and Mandvi areas are now cultivating Dragon fruit and getting good returns.