As per observations, there is plenty of scope for the organic harvesting of dragon fruit across the state.
Following the successful Strawberry Festival, Uttar Pradesh will now be hosting a Dragon Fruit Festival, in an effort to highlight unconventional crops of fruits and vegetables. According to a statement by a government official, instructions have been given to focus on the health benefits and medicinal value of dragon fruits during the course of the fest. Moreover, there will also be a Sweet Potato Festival, slated to be held in Gorakhpur as a segment of this series.
Plenty of scope for the organic harvesting of dragon fruit across UP
Dragon fruit is hailed as a super fruit as it comes laden with high levels of fibre, calcium, magnesium, iron and vitamin A and C while it is devoid of fat. It is also an antioxidant and substantially effective in diabetes prevention and management. As per observations, there is plenty of scope for the organic harvesting of dragon fruit across the state, which can push the incomes of the farmers' by leaps and bounds.
According to olericulturist, Dr S.P. Singh, dragon fruit can be cultivated in the maximum temperature of 40°C and a minimum of 7°C. However, the ideal temperature to grow this fruit, swings between 30°C and 35°C. Besides, the land on which dragon fruit is cultivated must be equipped with an outlet for water. For a prominent yield, 10 kgs of natural fertilizer such as cow dung, laced with 50 grams of nitrogen, potash and phosphorus, is used and a gap of 4 metres each, is maintained between plants and the rows.
A dragon fruit plant starts producing fruits after two years of plantation and can produce for 20 to 25 years. The plant is not watered during the budding phase and if proper pruning is done on the plant after four-five years, it can produce 100 to 150 quintals of fruit per hectare. This nutritious fruit can be planted in the months of June and July and if proper irrigation facility is provided, it can also be grown during the period of February and March.
Plans of a Guava Festival in Prayagraj, Banana Festival in Kushinagar & Gooseberry Festival in Pratapgarh
In the meantime, the state government is also chalking out plans to hold a Guava Festival in Prayagraj, Banana Festival in Kushinagar and Gooseberry Festival in Pratapgarh. All these fruits have been brought under the umbrella of the 'One District One Product' (ODOP) scheme of the government.
Organic Farming encouraged by the UP Government
The UP Government will be holding such fruit festivals to encourage farming and consumption of fruits that will enhance the immunity and overall health of the state population. At the same time, reportedly, these festivals will guarantee a fair price to the farmers growing them. Through the gatherings, the Chief Minister also seeks to encourage organic farming.