By Tarak Sarkar
Darjeeling (West-Bengal) [India], October 8 (ANI): Naxalbari, the Bengal village which is globally known for its peasants' revolt of 1967 has now set an example for the best dragon fruit cultivation in the district. Hatighisa, a small village near Naxalbari under Siliguri subdivision of Darjeeling district is known for dragon fruit cultivation. People from various districts travel to this village to get the taste.
It is stated that the fruit is having a huge capacity to grow immunity power in the body. It is also carrying other advantages to fight against corona.
Bhushan Toppo and Ava Toppo, an Adivasi couple who started growing the dragon fruit said, after the coronavirus pandemic the demands of dragon fruits have increased.
Ava Toppo said, "We used to work in a tea garden. But after taking training from the Centre for Floriculture and Agri-Business Management (COFAM) of North Bengal University about the cultivation of dragon fruit, we started the farming with only four saplings and now it touches 123. We are earning quite a good amount of money".
"After COVID-19 outbreak, the demand and price of the fruit have risen to Rs 400 per kg. People come to my home to buy it. We are earning a good amount of money from dragon fruit cultivation. Locals visit us to enquire about its farming. They also want to do its farming," she added.
Amrendra Pandey, official, Centre for Floriculture and Agri-Business Management (COFAM) of North Bengal University, Siliguri said, "It is the best example of Atmanirbhar Bharat. A tribal couple started with four saplings of dragon fruits and now they have more than a hundred which builds self-confidence. It could share a major part in the economical condition of our country because youths are getting interested in cultivation.
Dr PT Bhutia of Siliguri who is treating coronavirus patients said, the COVID-19 vaccine is not yet ready. "Since we do not have any vaccine for COVID-19, people are being advised to improve immunity. This fruit is very good for improving immunity. It contains magnesium, vitamin C and other minerals which will help you to protect RNA virus known as coronavirus."
Master chef Joseph Rojario, renowned master chef from Siliguri said, "Dragon fruit can be used in making salads. The farmers are doing an incredible job and involved in organic farming. Dragon fruit is becoming popular, now. The fruit has anti-oxidants and vitamin c in abundance. It can boost immunity." (ANI)