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Sangli farmers exports dragon fruit to Dubai

Mumbai: Farmers in Maharashtra’s Sangli have exported a consignment of Dragon fruit, which was renamed Kamalam in India, to Dubai, the ministry of commerce and industry announced on Saturday, seen as a major boost to exotic fruit exports. Even though dragon fruit is not a local product of India and is primarily grown in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, the United States, and Vietnam, production of the fruit began in India in the early 1990s. The fruit was originally grown in home gardens, but farmers across various states took up production, increasing its popularity.

The states which grow Dragon fruit include Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. ‘The cultivation requires less water and can be grown in various kinds of soils. There are three main varieties of dragon fruit: white flesh with pink skin, red flesh with pink skin, and white flesh with yellow skin,’ the ministry said.

Vijay Rupani, Gujarat’s chief minister, announced in January the state government was renaming the fruit as the word ‘dragon’ has Chinese roots. As the fruit looks like a lotus flower, it was named Kamalam. Gujarat also applied for a patent to change the name, according to the report. The fruit is loaded with fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and is also known for restoring cell damage caused by oxidative stress.

In his Mann ki Baat in July 2020, PM Modi had complimented the farmers of Kutch for the farming of the dragon fruit in his message for India’s self-reliance.


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