Koronadal pushes planting of dragon fruit

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews / 8 Feb) – The city government is pushing for the development of more plantations for dragon fruit, which is being considered as the area’s next major crop.

Emelita Miguel, chief of the City Agriculture Office, said Friday they are currently evaluating potential sites in the city that could be utilized as expansion areas for the high-value crop.

She said a number of farmers in the city have already adopted the crop these past years and started growing it through diversified farming.

As part of the initiative, the official said they are currently providing free dragon fruit seedlings to local farmers and other interested residents in coordination with the Department of Agriculture (DA)-Region 12.

She said the free seedlings are available at the city government’s demonstration farm in Barangay General Paulino Santos.

Aside from the seedlings, she said their personnel are also ready to provide interested beneficiaries with trainings on planting methods and practices as well other production technologies for the crop.

“There are actually a lot of farmers who are not yet familiar with dragon fruit and how to properly propagate it,” she said in a statement.

Aside from the establishment of local plantations, Miguel said they are also promoting the planting of dragon fruit in backyards or home gardens.

She said noted that the fruit can be a good source for nutrient supplement for households as it has high Vitamin C content and could help combat cancer and other diseases.

DA-12 has been promoting the planting of dragon fruit, which is sold in the local markets at P100 to P200 a kilo.

Miguel said the city was among the areas that were found viable for the planting of the crop, which comes from the cactus family (g. Hylocereus) and thrives under direct sunlight.

She said the free seedlings being distributed by the local government were provided by DA-12, through an earlier request from the South Cotabato Farmer’s Association.

“Once our production eventually becomes substantial, DA-12 will help us process and market it,” she added. (MindaNews)