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Dragon Fruit Cultivation in Nepal: A Journey Through History, Exploring Scope, and its Importance

Dragon fruit is a climbing vine type of Cactus species indigenous to the Americas . Known by most as “Noble woman” .Dragon Fruit  was believed that by consuming it  one became empowered with the same strength of a dragon. DragonFruit is regarded as the most beautiful fruit found on cactus plants 

For the first time in Nepal Veterinary Doctor Mr. Jagannath Rai brought dragon fruit from the USA through his friend in 2057 B.S. for the decade it is just in information. Gorkha Millennium multi purpose cooperatives ltd formally started cultivation of dragon fruit in commercial form from 2070 B.S (2013 A.D) . Nowadays, commercial cultivation of it is going in jhapa and dhankuta district of Nepal but just for trial. 

Dragon fruit is famous in Vietnam, Thailand, Israel and Sri Lanka. In Nepal commercial cultivation is just in the starting phase. Present market price of this fruit in Nepal is Rs 800 to 1000 per kg (7.16$ to 8.95$) . This fruit can be cultivated in regions of less rainfall at altitudes of 1500 from MASL. There are thousands of fallow and marginal land in Terai, Bhitri madhesh, valley and lower range of mountain which are suitable for cultivation. The chemical fertilizer demand of Dragon fruit is less. Nepalese farmers are unable to effort chemical fertilizer at higher altitude. So, we could grow organically using our local manures like FYM, Compost, vermicomposting which results in economical and eco-friendly production. Moreover, Organic dragon fruit can considerably raise the price received for it . In spite of having various benefits and advantages still as underutilized crops and considered as fruit for future . Dragon fruit adds value to agro-tourism. Dragon fruit has great importance in Nepal as it is beneficial for Small landholder marginal farmers and to improve the livelihood of them. It may become a good foreign currency earning ways in future. So, dragon fruit is fruit for future Nepal. 

Dragon fruit is high in antioxidants and contains phytonutrients, twelve different minerals, and several B vitamins (as well as vitamin C, which is equal to 10% of the daily recommended intake). The antioxidant property stops cholesterol from oxidizing. Owing to its antioxidant qualities, dragon fruit is frequently referred to as a “superfruit”.It contains calcium, which strengthens teeth and bones, as well as minerals like iron and phosphorus, which support healthy blood and tissue. A lower risk of prostate cancer has been linked to the red pigment lycopene.It also offers essential fatty acids. It has been discovered that the greatest source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which lower cardiac stress, is found in dragon fruit seeds. 

Not only in human health, it is widely used in restaurants as fruit salads, best eaten chilled or blended into refreshing drinks also. Jams, Ice creams, Jelly, fruit juice, wine are dragon fruit-eating products.



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