Pune: Exotic Dragon Fruit Becomes Maharashtra’s Green Gold With Growing Cultivation

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Pune, 28th August 2023: The exotic ‘dragon fruit’ has firmly established its roots in Maharashtra’s soil, with farmers ramping up cultivation efforts in recent years. Regions such as Ahmednagar, Solapur, and Satara have witnessed a surge in dragon fruit farming, thanks to its robust demand and favorable market prices.

The dragon fruit season typically spans from June to November. This year’s first phase of the season witnessed favorable prices for dragon fruits, marking a ten percent increase compared to the previous year.

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Revered for its health benefits, dragon fruit is renowned for enhancing blood cell production, contributing to its escalating demand in recent years. Its captivating appearance and vibrant colors further contribute to its allure, remarked Pandurang Supekar and Mauli Ambekar, dragon fruit traders at the Market Yard.

The market yard receives a daily influx of 15 to 20 tonnes of dragon fruit. Depending on the grade, a kilogram of red dragon fruit commands prices ranging from Rs 40 to Rs 120, while white dragon fruit is priced at Rs 30 to Rs 90 per kilogram. Red dragon fruit consistently outshines its white counterpart in terms of demand. Anticipating a continued upward trajectory in income, Supekar mentioned that the average weight of a single fruit ranges from 100 to 600 grams.

There is a growing call for the government to establish processing industries for dragon fruit. Maharashtra has witnessed an uptick in farmers turning to dragon fruit cultivation, fueled by rising demand not only from juice vendors but also from ice cream manufacturers. The establishment of processing industries by the government could significantly benefit farmers. One notable advantage of dragon fruit farming is its minimal water requirement. Additionally, this fruit boasts a shelf life of five to six days.

Supekar and Ambekar revealed that farmers in Gujarat have embraced dragon fruit cultivation in recent years.

Over the past three to four years, farmers in the Ahmednagar, Solapur, and Satara regions have enthusiastically adopted large-scale dragon fruit cultivation. This fruit is particularly well-suited to rocky soils and requires minimal water resources. Fruit traders have attested to the exceptional taste of dragon fruit originating from the Ahmednagar and Solapur areas.


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