19 August 2023, Punjab: A total of eight Horticulture Development Officers from the State Department of Horticulture participated in the two-day training course on the “Cultivation of Dragon Fruits in Punjab,” organised by the Skill Development Centre at Punjab Agricultural University (PAU). The camp was held under the guidance of Dr GS Buttar, Director of Extension Education.
Dr Rupinder Kaur, Associate Director (Skill Development), highlighted that cultivation of exotic fruits like dragon fruit can be an excellent source of income for farmers due to their growing demand in the market, especially, restaurants, hotels and marriage palaces. Extension scientists should play an important role in disseminating the technology of dragon fruit cultivation, she added.
Dr Prerna Kapila, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the course, shared the health benefits of dragon fruit and discussed the upcoming training courses.
Dr Sanjula Sharma, Biochemist, while dwelling upon the nutritional importance of dragon fruit, said that it is rich in vitamin C and other oxidants, which are good for immune system. It can boost iron level also, added the expert, saying that iron was important for moving oxygen in the body and giving energy.
Dr Jaswinder Singh Brar, Principal Fruit Scientist and technical coordinator, discussed the importance and scope of dragon fruit cultivation in Punjab. Stating that the dragon fruit plants can be easily multiplied through stem cutting, he informed that the growing season of dragon fruit is from June to November in India.
Dr Harpreet Singh, Plant Pathologist (Fruits), shed light on diseases and other problems of dragon fruits. Trainees also visited dragon fruit experimental and plantation areas at PAU and Mr Jaspreet Singh’s farm at village Issewal, Ludhiana.
Later, Dr Kapila proposed a vote of thanks and motivated the trainees for cultivation of dragon fruits in their own areas.
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