Dimapur, August 2: A 2-day training on package and practices of Dragon fruit cultivation, organized by Horticulture Department got underway today at the State Horticulture Nursery, Green Park, Dimapur Nagaland.
Addressing the programme, Director Horticulture, Dr. R E Lotha informed that the training was being organized for sensitizing the farmers/ beneficiaries for cultivation and promotion of dragon fruit owing to its multiple health benefits as well as high market returns.
Informing that the Government of India has extended support for cultivation of dragon fruits covering 100 hectares of land, Lotha advised the first batch of beneficiaries, to take up the venture seriously to enable the programme to move forward in the first venture for promoting dragon fruit cultivation in Nagaland.
Explaining that the GOI expects beneficiaries for investing 50%, Dr Lotha said that the department will provide the planting materials and logistics for irrigation but will not be able to give total support for proper establishment. He said Rs 2 lakh per hectare will be given per hectare in 3 phases in the ratio of 60: 20: 20.
Stating that dragon fruit, a cactus vine grows suitably in the tropical countries, Dr. Lotha said that the cultivation will cover 57 hectares in Dimapur, 17 hectares in Peren, 16 hectares in Wokha and the rest in Mokokchung district. Lotha observed farming as knowledge driven, intellectually self satisfying and income generating enterprise.
Lucy Ngullie Thomas, the proprietor of Dream Dragon Fruits, who was the resource person described the beneficiaries as the selected few lucky ones and encouraged them to be passionate as they embarked in their venture of dragon fruit cultivation.
Highlighting on the health benefits of dragon fruits, Lucy said the fruit is very popular for reducing sugar level, for controlling high and low blood pressure and cancer patients and further informed that the fruit has high anti oxidant proteins.
“We have everything like land, good climate and hard working people, so why can’t we grow?” she challenged. She dubbed farming as a noble profession considering the fact that the population are being fed and therefore encouraged the farmers to continue farming with passion and dedication.
After the formal training session, the beneficiaries numbering around 70 plus were taken for field visit to the Dream Dragon fruit Farm at Shitovi Village, Dimapur. In the farm, the resource person also the proprietor, Lucy explained about the process, ways, varieties and methods of dragon fruit cultivation. The beneficiaries were also treated with delectable, fresh and unembellished dragon fruits.
District Horticulture Officer, Temsu Longkumer chaired the formal training programme and also accompanied the farmers during the field visit.
(Page News Service)