(Last Updated on : 10/12/2012)
Indian fruits include several types of exotic fruits that are grown in the country and are part of a nutritious diet of the citizens of India. Indians have had understood the importance of fruits and the wholesome utility of the same from time immemorial and hence fruits form a necessary ingredient of the diets of these fellow men. Being one of the largest countries and consisting of one of the richest natural vegetation in the world, India is home to a numerous varieties of fruits. The Indian fruits have earned a lot of recognition and reputation for their wonderful taste all over the world. Some of the Indian fruits have also become one of the highest selling fruits in the international market. India holds a unique position in production figures of fruits, among other countries. India accounts for 10 % of world's total fruit production. More than 90% of India's exports of fresh products, including Indian fruits go to West Asia and East European markets.
India is gifted with a bejeweled genetic variety of tropical fruits; developing vegetative propagation methods, and advertising numerous species to farmers with due market support for fruits would only ensure the commercial cultivation and add to the deglamourized state of Indian horticulture. Commercial crops prospered continuously due to their economic, social and religious importance. The less important, so-called underutilized fruits were kept uncared for mainly to natural wild, semi-wild and semi-domesticated conditions albeit along with alternative variability. In addition to being potential horticulture species these plants are incidentally store houses of genes for adaptation to hot and hardy climates, salt tolerance, diseases tolerance and several essential nutritional values. The exploration and collections undertaken mainly in the states of Rajasthan
, Uttar Pradesh
, Madhya Pradesh
, Himachal Pradesh
, Jammu and Kashmir
History of Indian Fruit
There are many of the fruits and vegetables have grown in the wild for thousands of years. But now these fruits are cultivated, when people began to eat them as food they simply gathered the wild fruits and vegetables. Then, about 11,000 years ago people began to plant fruit and vegetables to eat and keep themselves healthy, to farm the plants and to care for them. The farmers experimented and grew new breeds of the wild fruits and vegetables.
Demand of Indian Fruits in global market
Indian fruits can be classified in various categories like the juicy fruits, the solid fruits, etc. There is a huge international demand for certain Indian fruits and vegetable products. India ranks 5th in the world in cropped area under cultivation. Most of the fruits available in India are native to the country. However, there are several others that have been brought to India from outside and then cultivated on a large scale. The fruits coming from outside have escaped and naturalised in the wild.
Varieties of Fruits
Though, there are numerous varieties of fruits available in the country, there are only a few fruits that can be identified as the most notable ones. Some of the most famous and popular Indian fruits include Mango, Jackfruit, Lakoocha, Cherimoya, Ata, Custard Apple
, Soursop, Ramphal, Loquat, Ceylon Peach, Tamarind
, Carambola, Bilimbi, Sour Orange, Sweet Lime, Calamondin, Citron, Wood-apple, Elephant Apple, White Sapote, Langsat, Bignay, Star Gooseberry, Cashew Apple, Yellow Mombin, Lychee, Surinam Cherry, Karanda, Husk tomato, Tree tomato, Kubani, Jamun, Chiku, Sitaphal, Khajoor, Kharbooja, Anar, Bael etc.
Mango (Mangifera indica) is the National fruit of India. Mango
is one of the most widely grown fruits of the tropical countries and in India; Mango is cultivated almost in all parts, with the exception of hilly areas. The poet Kalidasa wrote immortal poetry in its praises. Alexander indulged in its richness, as did the Chinese pilgrim Hieun Tsang. The fruit, Mango is proved to be a rich source of Vitamins A, C and D and the main exporting crop from India. Mangoes can be found in various sizes from 10 to 25 cm in length and 7 to 12 cm in width. A single mango can weigh as much as 2.5 kg. Some of the varieties include Alphonso, Amrapali, Chausa, Himsagar, Mallika, Langda, Bombay etc. Usually a mango tree lives for a long period of time and few specimens are more than 300 years old and still bear fruit.