The Andhra Pradesh Horticulture Department has evolved an action plan to raise the crop acreage of the exotic fruit by 200 hectares in the state in the current fiscal year. The federal government is also planning to promote the cultivation of the dragon fruit in a big way as part of a five-year strategy.
At present, the dragon fruit is being cultivated in 195 hectares in the state. Further, a proposal under the Mission for Integrated Development of Horticulture is being prepared for encouraging the cultivation of the dragon fruit in the State.
According to sources, the demand for the dragon fruit in the state and its export potential is increasing steadily. Research is underway for value addition of the fruit and its by-products. At present, 1 kg of dragon fruit (two or three) costs anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 400 in the market.
[ Rs 100 = €1.20 ]