Indian has agriculture supported economy having over increasing population, but heading towards food self sufficiency. One of the ways to boost up farming economy is adaption of high value low input requirement crop having diversified adaptability with various agro-climatic areas of India. The dragon fruit (Hylocereus sp.) is gaining its popularity for immense scope to grow as a commercial high profitable crop due to its rich nutraceutical properties and good for processing industry also. In the context of food diversity farmers are looking for new crops which are remunerative or having good nutraceutical properties and ensure return in short period. Among the new fruit crops, dragon fruit has potential for use to prevent nutrition-related disorders and improve physical and mental well-being of the consumers. Thus, its use is included in herbal medicine in many countries like China. In India, some initiatives have been taken to demonstrate its cultivation in few parts of the country. But, India imports (95 % of its demand) mostly from Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka etc. and fetch high prices in market.
Therefore, it also now is being taught in regular courses in many agricultural institutes. But, there is a gap between the knowledge, availability of literatures and skill for its successful cultivation, production of model nursery etc.
Keeping this view, an attempt has been made to make a complete information guide as book with special references to its Area and production, Nutritional composition and important uses, Origin and distribution, Taxonomy and botanical description, Types and varieties, Soil, Climate, Propagation, Nursery, Transplanting, Trellising, Pruning, Manures and fertilizer application, Irrigation, Intercultural operation, Floral biology, Flowering and Fruiting, Off season production, Harvesting and yield, Post harvest management, Crop improvement, Pest and diseases, Economy of production and Global market importance etc. I hope, it will help the growers, students and researchers as well.
I am indebted to the working groups in this field across the globe for their contribution. I duly acknowledged the literatures, web materials, books, journals etc which are consulted. I also express my deep gratitude to Book Publisher International, for completing this job carefully. I am very grateful to my parents, teachers and colleagues for their encouragement. I am also thankful to my family members for support. I express my heart full thanks to my friends and my dear students who helped me for the entire process. I take this opportunity to express my sincere thanks to my all teachers who prepared me at every level of my education.
Readers are requested for valuable suggestions for the improvement of this publication for its wide acceptability.
Department of Applied Plant Science, Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh -226025, India
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