New Delhi: National Conclave on Kamlam (Dragon Fruit) was organized here today under the Chairmanship of Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India. The objective of this conclave was to give thrust to increase the area, production and productivity, marketing, branding of Kamlam (Dragon Fruit) and also to enhance the farmer’s income. A Technical Session was also conducted to address the issues related to planting material, cultivation practices, post-harvest & marketing and research on Kamlam (Dragon Fruit). Progressive farmers of States namely Haryana, Karnataka, Gujarat and Nagaland shared their experiences during the workshop.
Additional Commissioner (Hort.) welcomed Chief Guest, Senior Officers of Ministry, State Deptt. Officers and Growers & Marketers of Dragon fruit joined virtually from different States. Around 200 participants joined the programme virtually.
Shri Manoj Ahuja, Secretary, DA&FW, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, GoI as Chief Guest shared his views and highlighted that there is need to promote and develop a plan for increasing the area of Kamlam (Dragon Fruit) as the fruit is having specific nutritional value and global demand.
He suggested to prepare an Annual Action Plan (AAP) of 5 years in consultation with States to promote overall development in respect to cultivation, post-harvest management, marketing processing and Value addition. There is also a need to disseminate good practices on cultivation and the same may be digitized for wider publicity.
It was suggested to States to come forward to increase the area by providing the assistance available under MIDH for cultivation and marketing and promote through MoFPI for processing & value addition.
Dr. Abhilaksh Likhi, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India, mentioned in his speech that there should be potential market of this fruit so that growers can develop their own branding. There is also need to develop a 5-year strategy to increase the area of Kamlam (Dragon Fruit) upto 50,000 ha. He also highlighted that State Government of Haryana is providing assistance for cultivation. The other States may also follow the same pattern of assistance as given by State of Haryana to promote the fruit in the State.
Dr. Prabhat Kumar, Horticulture Commissioner, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, shared the information about nutritional and status of practices followed in other counties. He suggested that the production can also be taken in cluster approach to get good results. He said that studies have already been conducted by ICAR-National Institute of Abiotic Stress Management on different aspects of growing this fruit in both degraded soil and Rain-fed areas.
Earlier, Shri Priya Ranjan, Joint Secretary (Hort.), DA&FW in his introductory remark shared the importance of crop and also explained about assistance provided under area expansion component of MIDH Scheme. It was suggested to Horticulture Department of all states to come forward to take up Kamlam (Dragon Fruit) in their annual action plan to increase the area.
During the Technical Sessions by experts, Dr. G. Karunakaran, IIHR Bengaluru, Principal Scientists, IIHR delivered a talk on Research & Development related activities highlighting the current status of production in the county and the research work on cultivation, & post-harvest practices developed by IIHR.
Dr. Sunila Chahal, Dragon Flora Farms LLP, Haryana delivered a talk on planting material production in Kamlam related to propagation for quality planting material. She also stressed upon adopting good practices for cultivation. Shri Chetan Nandan, Progressive Farmer, Karnataka shared his experience on potential markets for Kamlam (Dragon Fruit) as he is involved in its production & Marketing. Dr. Vijay Sachdeva, Expert, Grant Thornton, spoke on the status and future prospects of the fruit in the country. Shri Hareshbhai Thakkar, Progressive Farmer, Bhuj shared his experience in cultivation of Kamlam in Kutch while Shri Bendangchuba, Progressive Farmer, Nagaland spoke about cultivation of Kamlam in hilly as well as plain area of Nagaland with proper practice.