Dragon fruit farming eyed as next profitable industry-A A +A
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
AN EMERGING profitable industry that will utilize the various marginal lands for the propagation of dragon fruit, said to be good for health and wellness, will soon emerge in Iloilo.
Farmers and fruit enthusiasts in the municipalities of San Miguel and Badiangan are now propagating dragon fruit, which belongs to the cactus family. They earn additional income starting the first year of planting.
Named the cleansing fruit for the whole body system, the dragon fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals and the fruit, including its flowers and peelings, are edible.
A Lakbay Aral (Educational Tour) visit by members of the Department of Agriculture Press Corps in Western Visayas to a successful dragon fruit plantation in Paayas, Burgos, Ilocos Norte recently showed the fruit’s profitability and the best practice of Ilocano farmers in shifting to dragon fruit planting in its marginal farms and vacated tobacco areas.
The 10-hectare Refmad Farms in Burgos, Ilocos Norte owned by Edita Aguinaldo Dacuycuy is planted with 15,000 dragon fruits, producing 30 to 50 kilos per year for every post hosting the plants.
Selling at P150 per kilo for bigger fruits and P100 per kilo for the smaller ones, Dacuycuy admitted she is happy to have shifted from cutting to planting of dragon fruits brought by a daughter from Thailand.
Today, her farm is the biggest dragon fruit producer in the Ilocos region, and he wanted to share her experience with Ilonggo farmers in caring and producing the new fruit expected to become a favorite at the dining table for its fruit sweetness and softness.
Special dishes of dragon fruit include unopened flower buds cooked as salad and eaten as vegetables, dried flowers cooked as soup and as herbs, skin pulp and peelings boiled as cleansing drink and jam, and the special beverage processed to flavor all kinds of drinks.
Dacuycuy, a farmer scientist recognized by the Philippine Council on Agricultural Research and Resources Development, said the Ilonggo farmers are known to be industrious and hardworking and can divert to planting the profitable dragon fruit. (Lydia C. Pendon)