Dragon fruit (Hylocereus sp) is an exotic crop introduced in the Island and the germplasm of five different accessions are being maintained at ICAR-CIARI. Port Blair. The production technology of dragon fruit is standardized for Island condition by ICAR-CIARI using concrete pillars as support. To popularize the technology among the farmers, the demonstration of dragon fruit is done at the field of farmer, Shri. Mahadev Majji at Collinpur in collaboration with NABARD, Port Blair. The first crop started flowering in second year after planting at Collinpur and to disseminate the technology to the other farmers of the village, a three days training programme on “Production and post-harvest technology of dragon fruit for enhanced income generation” was organized during 24-26 August by scientists of ICAR-CIARI in collaboration with NABARD, Port Blair.
In this training programme the course director Dr K. Abirami, Principal Scientist, ICAR –CIARI explained the farmers about the propagation techniques, intercultural operations like training, pruning and hand pollination technology in dragon fruit cultivation. Course coordinators Dr. V. Baskaran, Principal Scientist and Dr. T. Subramani. Senior Scientist explained in detail about the organic production system and demonstrated the preparation and use of organic formulations like panchagavya, Jeevamrutha and various botanicals which are effective for both crop production and protection. Dr. Pooja Kapoor briefed the farmers about the preparation of value added products from dragon fruit that can be utilized during off season for nutritional security and enhanced income generation by using small sized fruits. About 40 farmers attended the three days training programme and the planting material of dragon fruit, marigold and specialty flowers were distributed to the beneficiaries. The Panchayat Samiti member of Collinpur attended the training programme as guest of honor and she expressed that more farmers may take up dragon fruit cultivation as the success is witnessed by the adapted farmer Shr. Mahadev Majji at Collinpur village.