Dragon Fruit farming in Rajasthan
Rajasthan State government is trying to integrate traditional agriculture with allied forms of farming. Fruit cultivation is a major focus area and the government aims to double area under fruit cultivation in the next five years. Working on the line, researchers at the Centre of Excellence for Agriculture (CoEA) in Jaipur hope to start transfer of dragon fruit saplings by this fiscal-end to farmers.
Dragon fruit or Pitaya is native to Mexico and grown extensively in South-East Asian countries like Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Now, this fruit will be grown on an experimental basis at the agriculture department’s centre of excellence at Bassi and at Deorawas near Tonk and if the project is successful, it will be replicated in districts of western Rajasthan
Rajasthan has started cultivation of three varieties Cassia tora (medicinal plant), Dragon Fruit (Pitaya), and Pistachio (pista). While, Dragon Fruit would be cultivated in 5,000 sqm in Rajasthan, steps have also been taken for cultivation of pista. India was importing pista (pistachios) from foreign nations, but state has better climate in Hanumangarh and Sriganganagar district for cultivation of pista