Avocado Farming in India: Cultivation Practices, Varieties, Yield, Profitability and much more
From its origin to the different types, this article gives a detailed explaination of avocado cultivation in India.
Avocado is a tropical American fruit. It is thought to have originated in Mexico and Central America, from a variety of wild species.
Avocado is the most nutritional of all fruits, and it is often recognized as the New World’s most essential contribution to human nutrition. Some people enjoy the fruit, while others do not. The pulp is high in proteins (up to 4%) and fat (up to 30%), but low in carbohydrates. Avocados are grown in a variety of locations across the United States.
Avocados may be cultivated in a variety of soils, although they are sensitive to poor drainage and cannot tolerate standing water. They are unable to survive in a saline environment, and pH levels should be between 5 and 7. Avocados can live and perform well in climatic circumstances ranging from real tropical to warmer areas of the temperate zone, depending on the race and variations.
Is Avocado Farming Profitable in India?
Avocado is not a commercial fruit crop in India. However, it’s safe to say that avocado farming in India is surely profitable. The amount of fruits imported is far more than the number of fruits produced in the country. It is grown in tropical or semitropical areas that receive some summer rainfall and humid, subtropical summer rainfall areas.
Different Types of Avocados
West Indian, Guatemalan, and Mexican horticultural breeds adapted to tropical and sub-tropical environments were tested in India. West Indian race cultivars are grown in small places throughout Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka. Only the West Indian race is well-adapted to tropical and near-tropical environments, but its hybrids with Guatemalan (e.g. Booth selection) perform well and are regarded beneficial for extending the harvest season. In less tropical areas, Guatemalan-Mexican hybrids predominate because they blend the latter’s cold resistance with the former’s.
- Mexican race: Fruit type is small (250 g) and ripens 6 to 8 months after blossoming. The fruit has a thin, smooth skin and a big seed that fits loosely in the centre chamber. The fruits can have up to 30% oil content. This species of tree is cold hardy.
- Guatemalan race: Fruits are enormous and borne on long stalks, weighing up to 600 g. 9-12 months after blossoming, the fruits mature. The skin of the fruit is thick and often warty. The seeds are little and tucked away in the hollow of the fruit. Fruits have an oil content that ranges from 8% to 15%.
- West Indian race: Fruit is medium in size, with smooth, leathery, glossy skin. Fruits are carried on long stalks and might take up to 9 months to ripen after flowering. Its seeds are big and fit into the cavity only loosely. The fruit has low oil content (3-10 per cent). This race is best suited to tropical climates.
Yield and Harvesting
Avocado plants grown from seeds begin bearing fruit five to six years after they are planted. Purple varieties’ mature fruits turn purple to maroon, whereas green varieties’ mature fruits turn greenish-yellow. When the color of the seed coat within the fruit changes from yellowish-white to dark brown, the fruit is ready to be harvested. Six to ten days after harvesting, mature fruits ripen. The fruits are hard for as long as they are on the trees, only softening after harvest.
The yield per tree varies between 100 and 500 fruits. Fruits of the Purple type are harvested in Sikkim around July, while those of the Green variety are harvested in September-October.
Potential Growth of Avocado Plantations in India:
The agro-climatic conditions in several parts of the country look to be conducive to expanding avocado production. Plantations are now not properly planned and are dispersed. In addition, a large range of enhanced varieties with increased production potential are also available. Techniques for vegetative propagation have also been established. The careful planting of a large number of high-quality nursery plants of selected kinds, both in tropical southern India and humid semi-tropical portions of India’s northeastern region, could aid in the right placement of avocado on the country’s fruit map. Although there is still a lack of scientific support for the crop, Tamil Nadu and Sikkim data shows that size, color, and yield are all important factors.
Limitations of Avocado Production
Consumer preferences tend to be one of the most significant restrictions. Due to the nature of its taste and the availability of many other tropical fruits throughout the year that are more pleasant than avocado, the avocado may not be popular among the general public in the local market.
Nonetheless, due to rising health awareness among the educated population and avocado’s high nutritional content, it is likely to reclaim its proper place in the Indian market in due time. Avocado’s successful introduction and widespread acceptance among the tribal population of Sikkim’s hilly state suggests that avocado could be a viable fruit crop in India for family nutrition security.
Policies and Schemes for Avocado Production by the Government
At the moment, there is no specific government initiative in place to boost avocado research and development in India. Avocado germplasm is kept in the collections of research institutes in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Avocado has not captured the imagination of the average Indian due to the availability of a wide variety of fruit crops in India and customer preference for more palatable fruits with a sweet taste.
It can be popularized in the country with some government help, and it can give much-needed household nutrition security to the Indian populace.