A go to to this dragon fruit farm in Anantagiri provides a peek into the methods of cultivating the tremendous fruit and in addition a slice of journey

A go to to this dragon fruit farm in Anantagiri provides a peek into the methods of cultivating the tremendous fruit and in addition a slice of journey

Nestled amidst misty inexperienced hills and valleys of the Eastern Ghats, a small patch of farm in Anantagiri is exhibiting the manner in the direction of sustainable strategies of rising dragon fruit. Indigenous to Central and South America, dragon fruit was as soon as discovered solely in refrigerated cabinets in supermarkets. It was with an intention to carry this fruit to the native markets of Visakhapatnam and make it simply accessible, Jestin Joseph launched into a journey of rising dragon fruit on a three-acre land in Anantagiri, about 90 kilometres from Visakhapatnam. 
An journey sports activities and company management coach, Jestin had been working in the Anantagiri area for the social welfare of the tribal communities for the previous couple of years. “In this half, pepper and low are generally grown. But whereas I used to be researching on these, I got here to find out about dragon fruit, its low enter value and the way it has emerged as a tremendous crop in the previous couple of years in India,” says Jestin. He travelled to Solapur and Aurangabad in Maharashtra, which have been the hubs of dragon fruit manufacturing in India six years in the past, and hung out there to grasp the strategies and challenges of cultivating the fruit. 

A view of the dragon farm at Ananthagiri near Araku 110 km from Visakhapatnam. The farming venture is managed by the tribals of the region and is seeing encouraging yeilds over the last five years

A view of the dragon farm at Ananthagiri near Araku 110 km from Visakhapatnam. The farming enterprise is managed by the tribals of the area and is seeing encouraging yeilds over the final 5 years
| Photo Credit: Ok R Deepak

Though Dragon fruit shouldn’t be a native product of India and grown primarily in Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, the United States and Vietnam, manufacturing of the fruit started in India in the early Nineteen Nineties. Its manufacturing was restricted to house gardens initially however then farmers throughout varied states took up its manufacturing growing the recognition of the fruit. “Dragon fruit cultivation requires much less water and might be grown in numerous weather conditions,” says Jestin. 
He began rising the fruit on a two-acre land to start with and after 5 years he expanded his cultivation to 9 acres, together with a farming patch in L Kota in Vizianagaram district. “I reap about 4 tones of harvest per acre and promote it in the wholesale markets in Visakhapatnam,” he says. Dragon fruit plant is a member of the cacti household. It is a fast-growing, semi-epiphytic vine that requires vertical pole-like assist with a ring at the prime. The financial lifespan being greater than 20 years, it makes dragon fruit an especially worthwhile crop for farmers. 

Dragon fruits from a farm at Ananthagiri near Araku 110 km from Visakhapatnam. The farming venture is managed by the tribals of the region and is seeing encouraging yeilds over the last five years

Dragon fruits from a farm at Ananthagiri near Araku 110 km from Visakhapatnam. The farming enterprise is managed by the tribals of the area and is seeing encouraging yeilds over the final 5 years
| Photo Credit: Ok R Deepak

However, success got here with its share of hurdles and challenges for Jestin. The extra rains and moist climate of Anantagiri have been one in every of the first hurdles that got here in the manner of the crop manufacturing. As a outcome, he misplaced over 4,000 crops and made a lack of Rs 2 lakh in the first yr itself. To make issues more difficult, the crop was contaminated with a fungal illness referred to as Anthracnose (Colletotrichum gloeosporioides). “The fungus assault unfold quickly and hit the crop in no time,” he provides. 
While he battled with some ways to handle this difficulty, together with the use of fungicide and pesticides, the answer got here in the type of easy blade which addressed the downside. “All I needed to do was minimize off the contaminated half and expose the space to the solar to dry,” he says. In lower than two years time, he may utterly cast off fungicide or pesticide and has been rising the fruit via pure farming strategies.

A view of the dragon farm at Ananthagiri near Araku 110 km from Visakhapatnam. The farming venture is managed by the tribals of the region and is seeing encouraging yeilds over the last five years. Photo : K.R. DEEPAK / The Hindu

A view of the dragon farm at Ananthagiri near Araku 110 km from Visakhapatnam. The farming enterprise is managed by the tribals of the area and is seeing encouraging yeilds over the final 5 years. Photo : Ok.R. DEEPAK / The Hindu
| Photo Credit: Ok R Deepak

The peak season for dragon fruit crop is from May to November, which sees 4 main waves of crop manufacturing. Jestin is presently rising two styles of dragon fruit – Alice White and Malaysian Red. “These two are the commonest varieties which have a good demand in the native market. Alice White provides a higher yield as in comparison with the crimson selection with a yield of about eight tones per acre,” he says. He is presently in the course of of making a nursery for saplings. 

A view of the dragon farm at Ananthagiri near Araku 110 km from Visakhapatnam. The farming venture is managed by the tribals of the region and is seeing encouraging yeilds over the last five years.

A view of the dragon farm at Ananthagiri near Araku 110 km from Visakhapatnam. The farming enterprise is managed by the tribals of the area and is seeing encouraging yeilds over the final 5 years.
| Photo Credit: Ok R Deepak

To make the expertise of visiting the farm pleasant for households, Jestin has created an journey park with a host of actions. Visitors can zip throughout the dragon fruit farm area or expertise sky biking at a peak of 20 ft from the floor stage. Vertical climbing, low rope course, excessive internet space, trampolines and boating for teenagers are a few of the different points of interest right here. To get the finest technique to expertise the area and the journey park throughout the monsoons, plan a keep at the hanging pods in the area.

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