Demand for Durian: the medicinal fruit

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Udhagamandalam, July 7 (UNI) About 550 people from various parts of Southern India have placed their orders to buy and taste the rare Durian Fruit, which has medicinal value, with Tamil Nadu State Horticultural Department, growing this rare tree at Kallar and Barliyar Horticultural farms in Nilgiris district of Tamil Nadu.

People believe that the fruit is the anti-dote to infertility.

This leads to high demand for it every year. In the southern states, the demand is for the spiny variety.

The fruit is believed to possess medicinal qualities and increase a woman's estrogen hormone production, enabling her to conceive.

Drian, botanically called as ''Durio Zebittheinus'' will start yieling fruits in the next 15 days from 33 trees after being planted. The fruit will be sold Rs 300 per kg this year as against Rs 230 per kg last year. The season for this will be July to September every year.

Last year, they had sold the fruit to about 400 people from a total production of 1127 kg. The yield was 1540 kgs during 2006-07.

This year, they expect an yield about 1500 kgs from the two farms, B Ramakrishnan, Assistant Director, Horticultural Department told UNI.

He said once the fruit is picked from the tree, it should be consumed within two to three days. Each fruit weighs between one to two kgs.

It is also said to be rich in carbohydrates, proteins and fats.

Under its hardy shell are sections of pale yellow flesh with a consistency that can be as soft and oozy as custard, along with a flavour that is nutty and sweet with hints of vanilla and an occasional bitter taste.

The traders of Durian in the markets are receiving good response from the public even though it is costly, said Vinayakam, a trader here.

He Said ''Durian has good medical benefits and is rare to get. Though it is costly, ''I buy them every year because it has good medicinal benefit and is also good to market.'' Durian tree is native to South East Asia, primarily Sumatra and Borneo. But it could easily be transplanted in equatorial Africa, equatorial Central America, or Southern United States.

UNI KS VV RL KN1932

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