Israel is developing a niche market for the purple and cerise exotic dragon fruit, also known as a pitahaya. Some 10 years ago, it began to arrive from Colombia and Vietnam. The Israelis are also studying the potential for the yellow variety. The Ma-Abarot kibbutz planted more than 20 hectares some five years ago with growers having to pollinate fruit by hand at night when the flowers are open. It is now finding a ready market in Europe for its 30 tonne plus production. Manager Halm Ardetti says volumes could grow considerably: "It is very much an exotic but we think it could ultimately become mainstream." {{M/E FRESH PRODUCE }}