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Something exotic from our gardens

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Avocado, rambutan and mangostein are not names we are very familiar with. But they will soon be pushing for a place on our dining tables as they catch the imagination of farmers who are always on the lookout for more remuneration.

Along with several new varieties of capsicum, these new varieties of fruits are making planners sit up and take note of their potential in the overseas market.

The Vegetable and Fruit Promotion Council Keralam (VFPCK) has identified the importance of these fruits and is trying to popularise their cultivation. One of the fruits the VFPCK has identified is rambutan (Nephelium lappaceum) or Mullanpazham as it is called in local parlance for its near-porcupine exterior.

The fruit, native to the Malay archipelago, is popular in South-East Asia and is suited for cultivation across Kerala. Rambutan can fetch as much as Rs.75 per kg during the season and can make its impact felt, the VFPCK estimates. Avocado (Persea americana), native to Central America and Mexico, is finding favour in Kerala, especially in Wayanad district.

Mangostein (mangostana) is referred to as the queen of fruits, and farmers in Pathanamthitta and Thrissur districts have made a mark in cultivating it.

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