Introduction of Exotic Fruits in India

Fruits are an integral part of the human diet and contribute towards nutrition, as they are rich sources of fibre, vitamin C and water. India, with the most diverse climatic conditions have distinction of being the world’s second largest producer of fruits with 46 million tons produced per year.

Fruits are an integral part of the human diet and contribute towards nutrition, as they are rich sources of fibre, vitamin C and water. India, with the most diverse climatic conditions have distinction of being the world’s second largest producer of fruits with 46 million tons produced per year. The term exotic is referred to as something foreign in an interesting ways. Recently there has been growing consumer interest in “exotic” terminology currently used to refer to “mysteriously different” or “unusual” fruits due to anecdotal claims of their medicinal values and purported health benefits. Some of the exotic fruits grown in India are: · Blueberries · Carambola (Star Fruit) · Buddha's Hand (Fingered Citron) · Dragon fruit · Kiwifruits · Strawberry · Mangosteen · Gala Apples · Japani Phal (Persimmon) In terms of their phytochemistry, these fruits share a commonality in that they all contain ellagitannins (ETs), a family of polyphenols that have been linked with a diverse range of biological activities.India has emerged as one of the largest consumer markets in the world, thanks to a prospering urban class and an enhanced exposure to the cultures of different countries. A rising demography of health-conscious people has gradually inclined towards fruits and vegetables, both of the local and exotic variety. The exotic fruit market which has Rs.3000 crore size also brings with it a plethora of opportunities. It is estimated that 350,000 metric tons of fruit is imported into India on a year on year basis. Apples lead this estimated import with 66 per cent of market share. India's annual import of exotic fruits is gradually growing over the years. Fresh fruit imports to India are pegged at 4,00,000 tons annually and valued at roughly INR 40 billion, according to customs data (2018). The exotic produce is priced higher and commands a premium of 50 pc or more over local fruits. Thus having such a surplus market, it becomes even more beneficial for the farmers growing exotic fruits. The rising demand has certainly increased the overall production profit.

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