|Authors: ||S.K. Mitra, P.K. Pathak, I. Chakraborty|
|Keywords: ||underutilized, aonla, bael, ber, carambola, jackfruit, jamun, karonda, longan, phalsa, rambutan|
The important fruit crops grown commercially in Asia are mango, banana, citrus, guava, grape, pineapple, papaya, litchi and apple which comprise more than 75% of total area under fruit cultivation.
There are quite a large number of underutilized fruit crops, which are being used by the local inhabitants.
In fact for people living in villages, these underutilized fruits are the only source of protective food, to meet their vitamin and mineral requirements, in their poor diet.
Because of their curative properties, these fruits have been used in Ayurvedic and Unani medicines since time immemorial.
Apart from their nutritive and medicinal values quite a few of these underutilized fruits have excellent flavour and very attractive colour.
In spite of these quality attributes most have not undergone any conscious phase of domestication and human selection.
Their cultivation is very restricted and they grow mainly wild.
Being tolerant to biotic and abiotic stresses, these fruit species are suitable for growing in the disaster- and drought-prone areas.
Although some fruits have already been recommended for commercial planting, it is apparent that there are a lot more fruit types that await future exploitation.
The more familiar one includes: jackfruit (Artocarpus heterophyllus), bael (Aegle marmelos), longan (Dimocarpus longan), rambutan (Nephelium lappaccum), jamun (Syzygium cuminii), ber (Ziziphus muritiana), durian (Durio zibethinus), carambola (Averhoa carambola), aonla (Emblica officinalis), karonda (Carissa congesta) and phalsa (Grewia asiatica).
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