A national conclave on Dragon Fruit was organized recently. Growers and marketers of Dragon fruit joined virtually from different states. A technical session discussed the issues including material, cultivation practices, post-harvest & marketing and research on Kamlam (Dragon Fruit).

A national conclave on Kamlam (Dragon Fruit) was organized under the chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India in Delhi recently. The objective of the conclave was to provide the thrust to increase the area, production and productivity, marketing, branding of Kamlam and also to increase the farmers’ income.

A technical session was also conducted to address the issues related to planting material, cultivation practices, post-harvest & marketing and research on Kamlam. Farmers from Haryana, Karnataka, Gujarat and Nagaland shared their experiences during the workshop.

Additional Commissioner (Hort.) welcomed the Chief Guest, senior officers of the ministry, State department officers, growers and marketers of Dragon fruit joined virtually from different states. Around 200 participants joined the programme virtually

Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, DA&FW, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, as Chief Guest shared his views and highlighted that there was need to promote and develop a plan for increasing the area of Kamlam since the fruit had specific nutritional values and global demand.

He suggested the preparation of an Annual Action Plan (AAP) of 5 years in consultation with states to promote overall development in respect to cultivation, post-harvest management, marketing processing and value addition. There was also a need to disseminate good practices on cultivation and these could be digitized for wider publicity.

It was suggested to the states to increase the area by providing the assistance available under MIDH for cultivation and marketing and promote through MoFPI for processing and value addition.

Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, mentioned that there should be potential market of the fruit so that growers can develop their own branding. There was also need to develop a 5-year strategy to increase the area of Kamlam upto 50,000 ha. He also highlighted that the government of Haryana was providing assistance for cultivation. The other states could follow the same pattern of assistance as given by Haryana to promote the fruit in the state.

Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Horticulture Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, shared the information about nutritional and status of practices followed in other counties. He suggested that the production could also be taken in cluster approach to get good results. Studies had already been conducted by ICAR-National Institute of Abiotic Stress Management on different aspects of growing this fruit in both degraded soil and rain-fed areas.

Earlier, Priya Ranjan, Joint Secretary (Hort.), DA&FW in his introductory remark shared the importance of the crop and explained about the assistance provided under area expansion component of MIDH Scheme.

During the Technical Sessions by experts, Dr. G. Karunakaran, IIHR Bengaluru, Principal Scientists, IIHR delivered a talk on Research & Development related activities highlighting the current status of production in the county and the research work on cultivation, & post-harvest practices developed by IIHR.

Dr. Sunila Chahal, Dragon Flora Farms LLP, Haryana delivered a talk on planting material production in Kamlam related to propagation for quality planting material. She also stressed upon adopting good practices for cultivation. ——————–