Dragon fruit farming gets popular in Bhawal region

The cultivation of various fruits including foreign fruits is becoming more popular in Bangladesh now a days. Dragon fruit is one such foreign fruit being produced in the country.

Presently, its significant cultivation can be noticed in different upazilas of the Bhawal region. Some people have achieved great success by cultivating dragon fruit commercially on the roof or yard of their house.

Many people take advice about cultivation and care of dragon fruit with Mokhlesur Rahman, an amateur dragon fruit farmer of Dighakandi village in Manohardi upazila of Narsingdi district. Along with commercial success, it has revolutionized agriculture. 

It is a delicious, succulent, sweet, spherical fruit that comes in several colours. The cultivation process of this fruit is also similar to cultivation of other native fruits. First the seedlings should be planted in a hole 3 feet long, 3 feet wide and 1.5 feet deep and left for 10 to 12 days. After joe comes in the soil, 3 to 4 dragon saplings or pens should be buried around the place with a strong pole of 6 to 8 feet. 

6 to 9 months after being planted the seedlings start bearing fruits. When the seedlings are about three years old, they begin to bear fruit on full capacity. 

If properly cared for in a suitable environment, it is possible to collect fruits from a seedling for about twenty years.

The scientific name of this very interesting fruit is Hylocereus undatus. This fruit is basically known as dragon fruit. People in China call it dragon fruit on fire or dragon pearl fruit. It is known as misty dragon in Vietnam, dragon fruit in Indonesia-Malaysia and dragon crystal in Thailand. 

Nowadays, this fruit is very popular in our country. It contains high fibber, carotene, phosphorus, ascorbic acid, protein, calcium and iron. It keeps the eyes well, helps in digestion, reduces body fat, keeps bones-teeth strong, lowers blood cholesterol, keeps skin smooth as well as increases the body's resistance to disease.