Swapan Halder, the residence of Purba Sridharpur, Nagendrapur GP of Sundarban and working as Mukti night guard has ventured into dragon fruit cultivation and has reaped a successful harvest. Mukti has provided him with 21 dragon fruit plants 2 years ago. Among the 21 plants, 2-3 plants have borne fruit and the rest has started flowering. His wife Shyamali Halder also helps him to cultivate Dragon fruit.
Swapan says he initially has been skeptical if the crop would survive in the moist and humid climatic conditions of Sundarban. “Mukti not only provided the plant but also provides me the knowledge of cultivating this fruit. I conducted a pilot study and cultivated a few plants. To my surprise, the plants not only survived but also did not require much water and labor. I have come to know that it has medicinal values. It has a very good market and anyone can grow the fruit using limited space in their agricultural land “he says.
Speaking about the plant and its use, Swapan says that once a plant starts flowering, the plant keeps on bearing fruits around the year. Around 20 kg of the fruit can be harvested from each plant which can be sold at a rate of Rs 400 per kg in the market.
Swapan is hopeful that by observing his success, many more people will come forward to cultivate dragon fruit and benefit like him.