Introduction to Anjeer Cultivation (Fig Tree Cultivation)
The following information is about Anjeer Cultivation.
Fig tree genus belongs to Ficus. It is a deciduous tree or shrub. This tree belongs to Moraceae (Mulberry) family. The fruits which are grown from this tree are edible. Fig is the common name for this fruit. The scientific name of a fig is Ficus carica. There are more than 800 species of this fruit. It is an important crop and is commercially grown in areas like Western Asia and Middle East. These are naturally found in Mediterranean countries. The fig fruit is popularly known as “Anjeer” in India.
Characteristics of Fig:
- The height of the tree reaches up to 7-10 m. Bark is white in colour and the texture of the bark is smooth.
- The leaves of this tree are fragranced, the length of the leaves is 12 – 15 cm and the width of the leaves is 10 – 18 cm. Leaves are deeply lobed with three or five lobes.
- Fruits differ in size, colour, shape, etc.
Properties of Fig (Anjeer):
- The energy content in fig is 310 kcal.
- Fig has carbohydrates of 19.18 g.
- Fat present in fig is 0.30 g.
- The protein content in fig is 0.75 g
- The fig contains these minerals they are Magnesium, Iron, Calcium, Manganese, Potassium, Phosphorous, Zinc and Sodium.
- The vitamins that are present in a fig are Vitamin B6, C, and K.
Cultivars/varieties of Fig (Anjeer):
- This variety of fig was discovered in Olympia.
- It is large in size.
- The skin of this fig is purple in color.
- The flesh inside the fruit varies from red to purple.
- The texture of this variety plant is hard.
- This variety is produced in high quantity and the quality of this fruit is also good.
- It is huge in size.
- Skin is yellowish green in colour.
- The Blanche fig is honey sweet in taste.
- They can be consumed fresh or after they are dried.
Black Mission Fig:
- As this variety has small eye it is resistant of getting spoiled.
- The size of this fruit is very close to pear fruit.
- The color of this variety fig is purple – black.
- The flesh is red in colour.
- It is a self-pollinating variety.
- This variety is resistant to getting split.
- This variety is large in size.
- The color of this variety is green.
- The flesh is white and the pulp is purple in color.
- It tastes sweet.
- The tree of this variety is long.
- This variety of fig is self pollinating variety.
- This variety of fig is popular for its taste and flavor.
- The size of this fig is medium.
- They are in light purplish color.
- The flesh is amber in color.
- They taste like honey sweet.
- This variety of fig is popular for its taste.
- The taste of this fig is rich and fine.
- In this variety fruit size is large – medium.
- When the fruit is unripe it is green in color.
- When the fruit is completely ripened it turns yellow color from outside.
- The flesh of this variety fig is pink in color.
Desert King Fig:
- This variety of fig can be consumed fresh or when dried.
- The texture of the skin is thin.
- The color of the skin is green.
- Flesh of the fruit is strawberry red in color.
Soil and climate requirements for Anjeer Cultivation:
For Anjeer Cultivations any kind of soil is suitable, but fig plants thrive well in sandy loamy soil. Slight lime content can be tolerated by fig plants. The required pH level for the fig plant growth is 6.0 – 8.0. Soils which have good depth are more helpful for the plants. For Anjeer Cultivations the soil, which is fertile and have good nutrient content are selected. A good drainage system should be maintained in the soil and the soil should be capable of conserving moisture.
Climates that are most suitable for Anjeer Cultivations are tropical and subtropical climates. Especially the regions that are humid and warm are better for Anjeer Cultivations. Fig plants, mostly prefer dry climate and less rainfall. For blooming and fruit setting, warm and dry climates are most preferable. To some extent, figs cultivation requires winter season as well. To thrive well, the plants require adequate sunshine. By getting 8 hours of direct sunlight, the growth and yield will be good with plants.
Land preparation and planting for Anjeer Cultivation:
Before planting, good site with enough direct sunlight should be selected so that the plants get enough light. Complete land should be cleared and cleaned of all the weeds, rocks or other materials of previous crops. To achieve fine texture the soil should be prepared properly and thoroughly. Ploughing and harrowing should be done so that the soil gets fine texture. One should also check the drainage system or create it.
A little bit of preparation for land is required for digging pits of the required dimensions. Graft or seedling should be transplanted when the roots get developed completely. After the transplantation the pits should be covered completely with soil and well decomposed farmyard manure. A light irrigation must be given after the transplantation. If at all the direct seed is being planted in main field, then the seeds should be sown by using the equipment and then the pits are covered with soil.
Propagation method for Anjeer Cultivation:
Propagation for figs can be done by cuttings, layering, micro propagation and grafting, but mostly propagation is done through cuttings. Propagation is nothing but raising a new plant from the parent stock by cutting, grafting, etc. Now let us know about the different propagation process for figs.
Plants are commonly propagated by cuttings. The old wood or basal of 2- 3 years should be cut. The cutting diameter should be ½ to ¾ inch and length should be 8 inches. In early spring the cuttings should be prepared well before bud break. In the nursery, the cuttings should be grown for 12 – 15 months before transplanting them in the main field. Two cuttings can be planted and established in the same – place.
Nursery stock should be used for the commercial plantings. To ensure sufficient rooting by mid-summer one year old branches should be used in layers and the layering process should be done in early spring.
By using the nodes and shoot tips the micro propagation process can be done with several techniques. But in general the roots are propagated from the shoot tips which are placed in semi –solid propagating material with Indole 3 Butyric Acid (IBA). Explants can be propagated from their nodes by placing them on Propagating Material.
To change fruit variety fig can be budded on the existing rootstock. By inserting a T-buds the figs can be top worked by vigorous 1 – year old shoot. The grafting can also be used on existing top worked varieties.
Manure and fertilization method in Anjeer Cultivation:
While planting decomposed manure i.e. farmyard manure or compost should be applied to the soil. The plants should be fertilized with Nitrogen: Phosphorous: Potassium in appropriate amounts. Along with the macronutrients, the micronutrients should also be provided so that there would be no deficiency. The soil should be tested so that the nutrients which are required by the soil can be known.
Irrigation methods in Anjeer Cultivation:
Irrigation should be given regularly. Over logging of water can cause spilt of fruit. The irrigation is mostly required in summer months and dry conditions. During monsoon irrigation should be given only if required.
Intercultural methods in Anjeer Cultivation:
Weeding: Weed control around the field helps in deterring pests in the field. The below measures can be used for effective weed control.
- Before planting, emerging weeds can be destroyed by the use of pre-emergence herbicides.
- The grass which is around the crop should be killed, but it shouldn’t harm the crop. We should select the herbicides in a proper way.
- The weeds can also be removed manually.
- Before the weed plant starts to spread, use the contact herbicides if necessary.
Training: Figs plants should be trained as they are in the form of tree or brush, so they should be encouraged and trained for trellising over the fence or wall.
Pruning: proper air circulation in between the tree or bushes will reduce the chance of occurrence of diseases. So, regular pruning should be done to remove unwanted dry branches and leaves.
Mulching: While Anjeer Cultivations mulching is the most important process. By doing this regularly, weeds can be controlled and also the moisture level in the soil is maintained.
Pest and diseases control measures in Anjeer Cultivation:
The pests that infest fig plants are Thrips and Leaf spot.
Control of the pests:
- Pests like Thrips can be controlled by regular pruning.
- The pest can also be controlled by insecticide like neem oil and insecticidal soap.
The diseases that infect fig plants are Nematode, Twig dieback, and Rust.
Control of the diseases:
- The plants should be planted with wide spacing so as to reduce the diseases and also by spraying suitable fungicide like Foltaf 80 W or Kavach 75 WP @ 0.2% helps in killing the fungi or bacteria on plants.
- Rust disease intensity can be controlled by spraying fungicides like sulphur dust, Foltaf 80 W and Bavistin @ 0.5 %.
- By spraying Dithane M-45 the diseases like twig dieback can be controlled.
Harvesting techniques in Anjeer Cultivation:
The harvesting of figs is done in the month of May and also the harvesting depends on the use they can be harvested throughout the year. In summers the figs can be harvested twice in May and June and also it may be harvested in late summer. The trees should be checked for the ripe fruits and should pluck them from the tree. Fruits can be harvested when we can see the fruit is soft by touch, skin starts splitting and when the colours are extending all over the fruit skin. The colour of the skin is different for different varieties.
Post harvesting techniques in Anjeer Cultivation:
Cleaning: Figs should be rinsed after harvesting them from the tree. Then they should be wiped gently with clean paper and a clean towel. Before rinsing them the stems should be removed by twining them gently by using your fingers.
Storage: Dried figs are also most popular. They can be stored in covered containers in a cold storage room or refrigerator. They will be fresh up to one week. To store figs for the long term they can be stored in refrigerator for about six months. The temperature, which should be maintained for storing the figs is less than 10˚C. The humidity which is maintained for storing is around 60%.
Yield in Anjeer Cultivation:
The average yield of the fruits is 180 – 360 fruits in a year per tree.
Read: Amla Cultivation.