Serving up a healthy dose of soursop to expats

Damion DaSilva shows off some of his soursop grown on one of many trees on his farm in Naamyrick, Parika on the Essequibo River in Guyana.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Guyana-based farmer Damion DaSilva is sitting on a gold mind of good health. The entrepreneur and his wife Nalini discovered the wellness benefits the Soursop fruit has to offer while serving up the flavored ice cream at their “Nicky’s Natural Fruit Juices” bar in the capital city.

The business owners planted their first soursop tree over 13 years ago in the fertile lands of Naamryck, Parika – on the Essequibo River, where Nalini born – to meet the demand of their customers at home and abroad, who were clambering for the fruit after a recent study showed that the pulp, is a cure for all.

Nicky’s, one of the leading eateries specializing in local cherry, guava, owarra and passion, plum, golden apple, and mango juice, to name a few, discovered that the natural sweetness of the soursop was not only pleasing to the palette of customers, but also appealing to their healthy needs.

Research shows that the fruit, that caused a medicinal stir on social media, and medical websites recently – slows the growth of Cancer cells, and potentially cure diabetes, and thyroid diseases, and heals other chronic ailments.

But despite caution by the Journal of Medical Chemistry that shows that studies with Soursoup are promising, but research with human subjects is needed to confirm its potential usefulness, DaSilva said he has been shipping the pulp to Guyanese here in North America in large quantities.

The duo, who depended on vendors to supply them with fruits for there business, were forced to purchase three plots of land to cultivate their own soursop trees to keep up with the demand of the fruit that has become a popular source of healthy living.

DaSilva explained that the fruit is very easy to grow and since it is indigenous to tropical weather, it flourishes during the dry season. It is easy to pick he added because it grows to 25 or 30 feet in height and may reach the length of 15 feet long, with some of the fruit reaching a density of ten pounds.

DaSilva, who has created a lucrative market for the fruit, depends on his twice-weekly crop that yields over 300 Soursop. The pulp is extracted, deseeded and put into a deep freezer for shipment. The juice bar, located on Camp Street in Georgetown also benefits from the weekly crop.

As the demand for the fruit grows, DaSilva plans to increase his harvest that will exceed the six thousand trees cultivated on his farmlands.

The soursop, also known in Spanish speaking countries as guanabana has a green prickly exterior, with black seeds and a white pulp that could be made into nectar.

“Because its 100 percent pure, DaSilva said he uses a machine to extract the juice, and always has a ready supply for families that come home to Guyana for the holidays, and want to stock up on the pulp to take back to their overseas homes.

For more information, email – [email protected].

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