SOME HIMALAYAN species of Ficus -- the genus to which the pipal and the banyan belong -- yield fruit that have high nutritive value and are excellent for making into jams and jellies. Scientists say these species should be considered favourably for social and agroforestry programmes.
P P Dhyani and M P Khali of H N Bahuguna Garhwal University in Srinagar say fruit of gular (F glomerata) can be used to make jelly and those of F hispida, F auriculata and F semicordata can be made into jam. Their research shows a 10-year-old gular tree can generate an annual net income of about Rs 2,700, while the other Ficus species offer net income prospects of between Rs 100 and Rs 1,000 a year.
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