Scope of minor fruit production in India
Minor fruits are a group of fruits presently growing in a scattered and unattended way on roadsides, homestead land, wasteland, etc. In general, fruits which though are consumable to human beings but relatively less palatable than other major fruits, which have lesser demand in market, which are grown to a limited extent only and are not usually cropped in organized plantations with application of artificial agro-inputs are considered as minor fruits. They are in general hardy and grow well even in fragile soil and climate and having potential for intensive exploitation. Attacks by deadly pests and diseases are relatively less in many of these crops. They multiply and grow spontaneously rather than coming to extinction. Since the area under each of these fruit trees is insignificant, they are popularly known as 'minor fruits'. In India, many under-utilized fruits grow without much care largely in the homestead, fallow and forest areas as well as at roadside and railway lines. Those are adapted to the local climate, are highly nutritious and contribute to poverty elevation and household food security of rural people and play a significant role in herbal medicine. Though a wide range of diversity of underutilized fruit crops exists in diverse agro-ecological zones of India, there are no organized orchards and no recognized cultivars for almost all of these minor or underutilized crops and some of those are being eroded from the plant-wealth list.
Roy, A. and Bauri, F.K. (2019). Scope of minor fruit production in India. Acta Hortic. 1241, 43-50
hardy, lesser demand, highly nutritious, wide diversity