The Gujarat government is organising a ‘Kamalam and Fruit Festival’ in Ahmedabad to promote the farming of dragonfruit, which was renamed Kamalam by the state government earlier this year.
Dragonfruit, rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, has become highly popular in Gujarat, and many farmers have also taken up its farming. It is mainly grown in Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, and Sri Lanka, and though many farmers in Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka are now engaged in its farming, around 80% of the demand is still met through imports.
In Gujarat, dragonfruit farming has been taking place in arid and semi-arid districts such as Kutch, Jamnagar, Banaskantha, Sabarkantha, and Rajkot for over six years, and the cultivation is on the rise. The state government estimates the dragonfruit is grown in over 1,200 hectares in the state.
The horticulture department has been extending assistance of Rs. 1.25 lakh per hectare to encourage its farming.
“The Gujarat government hosts mango festival every year to promote Kesar mango variety and ensure farmers get the right price for their produce. The Kamalam and Fruit Festival is organised for the same reason. There is good potential in kamalam farming, and the state government wants to encourage farmers to take up its farming,” explained an agriculture department official.
The Kamalam and Fruit Festival will take place at Karnavati Club in Ahmedabad from September 2 to 6. Around 40 to 45 farmers will set up stalls at the festival. A state government release said that besides dragonfruit, high-quality guava, papaya, bananas, exotic vegetables, dehydrated products, and other organic farm products would also be available at the festival.