One cannot miss the sight of bright pink fruits hanging from thorny plants in the farm of Rafiq, who is successfully cultivating dragon fruits and fetching a good income.
“Bland in taste, the fruit is known for its anti-oxidant properties and there is good demand for the fruit. I was attracted to dragon fruit after I saw its cultivation on the farm of my friend Khader Sab from Hosadurga. I have planted 1,200 plants. The plants started flowering within 10 months of planting. I could harvest 150 kg of fruits in the first year, which I sold for Rs 200 per kg in Mangaluru,” he said proudly.
The next harvest of the fruit is in June. The expenditure for cultivating dragon fruit is less. The plant does not die fast. It also does not require more water.
“I have just applied organic manure. One should ensure that there is humidity in the soil,” said the farmer.
Rafiq cultivates arecanut and coconut on two acres of land.
“To overcome the loss in farming, I decided to go for new crops eight years ago. Hence, I decided to plant 2,000 red rose plants. I harvest 10 to 12 kg of roses daily. The roses are sent to flower traders in Ajjampura, Hosadurga, Tarikere, Kadur and Birur. Roses fetch Rs 100 to 120 per kg daily,” said Rafiq.