Friday, September 21, 2007

Dragon Fruit Plantation

Malaysia is blessed with good tropical climate. Besides fruits, many crops can be grown here like rubber, oil palm, paddy and cocoa . One of the most recent newcomers in the Malaysian fruit industry is dragon fruits (Hylocereus polyrhizus). After many trials and errors, dragon cultivation has made its way in the Malaysian fruit industry. Unlike Vietnam and Thailand which had long history of dragon fruit growing, Malaysia is keeping good pace to lead its niche market due to high local demand.

The local name for dragon fruit is ‘buah naga’ or ‘buah mata naga’. In Malaysia, the scale for dragon fruit crop cultivation is very small which is about 300 hectares compared to other crops however, the rate of expansion is increasing tremendously fast. The dragon fruit growing areas are in the states of Johor, Perak, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Pulau Pinang and Sabah.

Since dragon fruits originated from different climatic conditions, it has to undergo environmental adaptations and agromanagement practices.

If R & D is been prioritize, then one day it will become one of the leading export earner of Malaysia. The pic above shows one of the dragon fruit plantation in Malaysia .This farm is araound 100 acres. There many such farms in the country.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Diseases of dragon fruits.

Like many other plants, dragon fruits are also attacked by diseases. We have found common disease that attack and caused infection. The common ones are bacteria and fungus.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Dragon fruit flowering

Dragon fruits flowers after 1 year old after planting. There are many factors that cause flowering. 1. Variety - some variety can flower very fast. 2. age of cuttings -cuttings taken from watershoots are not good because they are soft. 3. Adequate fertilization.-correct NPK is needed nutrient balance.

I sometimes see flower abortion. This can be due several reasons. a) not enough nutrient- should give foliar nutrients b) flower did not pollinate. - the stigma dries up and abort ; may be no pollinators around.