Sapota (Chiku) Cultivation In India and Process

Sapota (Chiku) Farming
Sapota (Chiku) Farming

Manilkara Zapota is a pine tree native to Southern Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. It is a long-lived tree that survives only in warm, tropical environments. Sapodilla is provided in many countries such as India, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Bangladesh and Mexico. In India, the fruit or the tree is commonly called Chikoo or Sapota. This fruit is grown widely in Gujarat, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu. The cultivation of the Sapota tree in India is mainly done due to fruit production, which is famous for its zest. Therefore, Sapota is also called Chiku or Chikoo in many places in India.

Scope and importance of Sapota Cultivation

Horticultural crops are supposed to be high-value cash crops and produce an excellent income for the farmers. The total fruit production in the range is around 813 lakh tonnes, of which the whole Sapota crop in the country is about 3.87 lakh tonnes. The Ballari district of Karnataka is the largest generator of Sapota (43506 tonnes) in India.  This fruit is now produced in India as a major crop, but some problems are storing the fruits due to its low rack life. 

The concerned authorities will support the new idea of producing different effects, such as financial assistance, technology improvement, new equipment and machinery, etc., for better farming farmers using the Mahindra 265 tractor model.  

This would generate more employment possibilities for the country’s young population and result in a better and stable economy. Furthermore, the exploitation of farmers in exchanging their products can also be overcome by showing their holes after manufacturing the new goods from the fruits.

Sapota Plant and Its Properties

The Sapota plant is upright in building and is considered to be a slow-growing tree. However, it is an engaging tree and has an extended root system. The tree grows into a dense, rounded crown-like canopy as it ages. Chiko tree is also renowned for its rich white gummy latex called the chuckle. However, different grafted varieties of the Sapota tree are found to have shorter sizes.

The leaves are bright, clustered spirally at the top and are provided alternately. The stomata of the petals can be found entirely on the upper part.

Soil and climatic Conditions

The soil for Sapota farming should be well-drained, thick and porous. Typically, any soil type can be used for Sapota cultivation, but there should not be any hardpan in the subsoil level. This is because the trees can tolerate salt content in the soil. The soil types suitable for Sapota civilization are deep alluvium, sandy loam and ordinary black soil. The pH of the earth should be 6 to 8. Shallow clay type of soil is not becoming for Sapota farming.

Sapota is a hot fruit and requires a warm, humid climate to produce and increase. The Sapota trees grow well up to an elevation of 1000 m. Therefore, the coastal climate is recognised as suitable for Sapota agriculture. The minimum average temperature needed is about 10 to 38˚C, and the seasonal rainfall should range between 1250-2500 mm. Higher temperatures (above 43˚C) lead to flower drops. The minimum thickness of the area should be more than 70%.

Land preparation of Sapota Farming

The land should be turned to a depth of 30-45 cm and properly levelled before planting. Initially, only a 6 x 6 m is kept between the plants because the plants take longer to grow and form the canopy. After the land is served, pits of dimensions 90 x 90 x 90 cm are dug. These pits are left free for 2-3 weeks to be exposed to the sun. The topsoil and the earth excavated from the holes should be separately heaped. Apart from this, farmers choose Eicher 380 tractor for better land preparation. 

High-density planting of Sapota 

The average plant spacing is 8.5 m to 10 m, but there is a new method of planting called high-density planting. In High-density farming, the spacing between the plants is decreased to 5 x 5 m to provide more plants. Therefore, this way of farming increases the richness of the farm. High-density planting is generally adopted strongly up to 13 years of planting.

Propagation methods Sapodilla

Air-layering is generally done during June, and approach grafting is done before the monsoon or through February and March.

For the method of air-layering, a 1-2-year-old, good shoot of 45-60 cm length is selected. A circular piece of bark that is 3 cm wide is separated from the shoot. This piece is extracted from below the bud on the node. Rooting hormones are used over their portion left on the parent plant. This portion is wrapped with moist sphagnum moss and packed in a polythene sheet to stop moisture loss. It takes 4 months for the roots to develop on the piece. The rooted shoot is slowly separated from the parent plant by making it 2-3 times over one week. These shoots are produced in the nursery under proper care.

Manure and fertilizer elements for Sapota 

Sapota plants need fertilizer and manure for healthy growth and development. These plants are covered twice a year in June and January. Fully developed Sapota trees need 100 kgs of FYM, 10 kg of biomedical and 1 kg of micronutrient mixture. In addition, the Sapota trees need a foliar spray of NPK, Mg, and Zn during the fruit set period to improve the fruit’s size. 

Irrigation demands for Sapota

The plants or trees should be sprayed at 30 days during the winter season and 15 days during the summer season. A drip irrigation system is considered the best way of washing the Sapota trees because it saves almost 40% of the water, ensuring 70-75 % higher income. Generally, the farm is incorporated with 2 drippers ordered at 50 cm from the tree through the initial years of majority. After two years of farming, 4 drippers are done. They are placed 1 m away from the tree. The discharge rate of the dripper should be 4 litres per hour.

If you are interested in farming then you must read our blog, You find here all related information about how to do farming. We hope you get this content informative. Stay connected with us for more related blogs. 

 

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