In news- The sweetest apricot, Raktsey Karpo, from Kargil district in the UT of Ladakh has for the first time in 35 years, been sent to an international market in Dubai. A consignment of 150 kg of fresh apricots was sent by Gurgaon-based start-up Krishak Agritech.
- Apricot, stone fruit of the family Rosaceae, is closely related to peaches, almonds, plums, and cherries.
- They are cultivated throughout the temperate regions of the world, especially in the Mediterranean.
- They are eaten fresh or cooked and are preserved by canning or drying and are also widely made into jam.
- They are a good source of vitamin A and are high in natural-sugar content.
- Dried apricots are an excellent source of iron.
- The trees are quite drought-resistant and under favourable growing conditions are long-lived, some living 100 years or longer.
- The apricot was originally domesticated in China but is now cultivated on every continent except Antarctica.
- The top five producers of apricots are Turkey, Iran, Uzbekistan, Italy, and Algeria.
- In India, for decades, the people of Ladakh have consumed it, locally known as Chuli.
- An integral part of the local culture, dry and fresh apricots are served as desserts, particularly during traditional festivals.
- It came to be identified as the primary crop for Kargil under its One District One Crop Programme.
- Nearly 62 per cent of India’s apricots are produced in Ladakh.