AN OVERVIEW OF CACTUS PEAR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA
In India an important part of the population is settled in a rainfed dry areas which need perennial vegetation to protect them from erosion. Using drought hardy and economically viable plants seems an option to sustain livelihoods, reduce poverty and generate employment opportunities. Cactus pear is drought tolerant due to its carbon dioxide fixation pathway (CAM), it is well suited to dry zones, where it can be used as an alternative food and fodder, as well as live fence to protect agricultural fields. In the seventh century, the British introduced cacti in India for cochineal dye production but these plantations gradually disappeared due to pests and flooding of these areas. Recent attempts to introduce cultivated cactus pear started late in the 1980´s. Besides adaptation trials some other aspects have been studied in the country: plant productivity, nutritional aspects, tolerance to salinity, fruit quality, etc., which are briefly reported in this paper.
Singh, G. (2006). AN OVERVIEW OF CACTUS PEAR RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT IN INDIA. Acta Hortic. 728, 43-50
cactus pear, cladodes, arid regions, establishment, survival, evaluation