Curious about the rare medicinal herb ‘mootty’ fruit, Minister for Agriculture V. S. Sunil Kumar came all the way to the farm of Baby George at Ambalappadi in Vannappuram in Idukki. The minister said he is seeing ‘mootty’ fruit growing in a farm for the first time.
The fruit normally grows in the forests of Thiruvananthapuram, Idukki and Wayanad districts. There are 150 ‘mootty’ trees in the farm of Baby. Among them only six trees bear fruits.
Scientifically named as Baccaurea motleyana, ‘mootty’ fruit is commonly known as rambi or rambai. The fruit is called ‘mootty’ in Malayalam. The delicious small fruits emerge on the trunk of the tree.
Baby said that the saplings begin to bear fruits within four years of planting. It was a tribal man who gifted Baby’s brother a sapling of the tree which grows in deep forest. Dr. C. R. Elsie from Agricultural University had examined the tree two months ago.
Baby had gifted a sapling to the minister at that time. After this, the minister expressed interest to see the tree in person. Being an indigenous plant, the tribal people are the major farmers of ‘mootty fruit’.
Minister Sunil Kumar said that the government has the responsibility to encourage farming of ‘mootty fruit’ as many studies have proved that the fruit has many medicinal properties. He added that he will take action to plant and nurture 100 saplings in Neriamangalam farm.