HOD’s Desk

Greetings to all!

Cultivation of fruit crops plays an important role in the prosperity of any nation. It is generally stated that the standard of living of the people can be judged by per capita production and consumption of fruits. Fruits crops are capable of giving higher tonnage of yield per unit area than other field crops. Fruits are found to be a rich source of vitamins and minerals. For example mango, papaya and jack have the important constituent the beta carotene which is actually the precursor of vitamin A. Mango and papaya fruits have been estimated to be very good sources of readily available beta-carotene, 1990 ug per 100 g in mango and 880 ug per 100 g in papaya. While bajra supplies only 132 ug of beta-carotene per 100 g, wheat supplies hardly 64 ug per 100g. According to recent research results many phytochemicals found in fruits act as powerful antioxidants protecting cells and organs from damage caused by free radicals, neutralizing their damaging effects. They are the biologically active substances in plants that give them colour, flavour, odour and protection against not only diseases affecting the plants but also human being. Consequently hundreds of such plant substances are being investigated now for their role in preventing cancer and other degenerative diseases.

Oranges, lemons, limes and grape fruits besides being principal sources of vitamin C and folate are rich in a class of phytochemicals called limonoids. This antioxidant has been found to be very effective against cancer. Sweet orange is the most common food recommended for a patient suffering from very high fever. It has a cooling effect as well as it is easily assimilated. Peyan, a variety of banana fruit is administered to patients suffering from chicken pox as it brings down the high temperature of the body. The potential of fruit crops in the growth of national economy is noteworthy. The prosperity of the country lies in building up its foreign exchange reserves.

The potential of fruit crops in the growth of national economy is noteworthy. The prosperity of the country lies in building up its foreign exchange reserves. Being a country having varied climatic conditions ranging from tropical to subtropical and to temperate, India has very immense potential for the production of different fruits and their export. During 2017-18  India ranked second in annual production of fruits with an area of 6506 000’ ha with a  production of 97358 000’ Metric tonnes.

Recent policies of the Government of India to encourage export of fruits and their products by announcing concessions to the fruit industry such as reduced air freight charges and exemption for storage charges for refrigerated air cargo at international airports have encouraged a number of private entrepreneurs / corporate bodies and NRIs to go in for planting larger area under fruit crops with an aim to export fruits and fruit products. The foregoing account is given with a view to emphasize the growing importance of the fruit industry. As could be seen from the details given therein, the fruit culture in vital to the health and economy of the nation, from the stand point of increased food production, nutrition, trade and fruit based industries.

According to ICMR recommendation per capita consumption of fruits must be 120g per day. While, the availability of fruits in India is only 90 g per person per day.  This indicates the need for enhancement of fruit productivity fruits in India.

In this context, fruit research on evolving new varieties, new technologies on production and post harvest management, and supply of quality  planting materials are being under taken in the department of Fruit science, HC & RI (W), Tiruchirappalli to enhance the productivity of fruits.

Dr. V.Lakshmanan, Ph.D.,

Professor and Head, i/c

Department of Fruit Science

Horticultural College and Research Institute for Women,

Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India

Email – fruitstry@tnau.ac.in

Phone – 0431-2918033