Gujarat renames Dragon Fruit as ‘kamalam’

The Chief Minister of Gujarat, Vijay Rupani, has announced that the government of Gujarat has decided to rename dragon fruit as ‘Kamalam’, which is a Sanskrit word. This decision to rename fruit was taken as its outer shape looks like a lotus. The government has also applied for the patent of the dragon fruit to be called as ‘Kamalam’.

Why the name was changed?

  • The chief Minister highlighted that; the dragon fruit is grown in the Kutch district of Gujarat. So, the government came with the idea of giving it a local name too.
  • He further said, the word dragon reminds one of China so it was more relevant giving a local name.

About Dragon fruit

  • The dragon fruit is also known as pitaya or pitahaya.
  • It is the fruit of different cactus species.
  • The cactus is indigenous to the America.
  • Pitaya belongs to genus Stenocereus while pitahaya or dragon belongs to genus Hylocereus. Both the variants belong to family Cactaceae.
  • The plant of the Dragon fruit has a lifespan of fifteen to twenty years.
  • These fruits are grown only during summers rapidly.
  • The Dragon flowers bloom only at night. It occurs only once in a year. They rely on nocturnal pollinators such as moths and bats for fertlization.

Where it is cultivated?

  • The Dragon fruit is grown in Southeast Asia, United States, Australia, India, The Caribbean and Mesoamerica.
  • It is also cultivated throughout the tropical and subtropical regions in the world, where temperature reach above the 40 degrees Celsius.
  • The largest producer of the fruit is Vietnam. The French had brought the fruit to Vietnam for the first time.

Dragon Fruit in India

In India, the dragon fruit is cultivated in the states of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka. Even though, India imports 95% of its Dragon fruit. India mainly imports this fruit from Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.  India could look for the potential export of the Dragon Fruit to countries like USA, Gulf and Europe.

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