Introduction to Growing Avocado Fruits in India:
The following content is all about “Growing Avocado Fruits in India“.
This is one of the most popular fruits found all over the world. The Avocado has originated from South Central Mexico and is considered as one of the members of the flowering plants. The scientific name of the Avocado Fruit is Persea Americana. It belongs to Lauraceae family. It belongs to the genus called Persea. Avocado is also called as Avocado pear or Alligator Pear. Throughout the world Avocados are commercially grown in regions having Mediterranean type of climate.
This is a self – pollinating fruit variety. The shape and colour of the fruit differ for different varieties. In general, the fruits are green in colour and pear like in shape.. The oil is extracted from Avocados which has high demand in the local and international markets. The fruit can be consumed either directly or can be consumed in the form of salads and soups. The Avocado fruits can be grown not only outdoors (open fields) but backyards and containers as well.
Characteristics of Avocado
Avocado Tree: This tree grows up to a height of 20 m.
Avocado Leaves: The leaves of this tree are 12 – 25 cm long.
Avocado Flower: The flowers bloom in the millions on this tree, but some of them only set the fruit, they are yellowish – green in color, the width of the flower is 5 – 10 cm.
Avocado Fruit: In general the shape of the fruit is pear like in shape and the color of the fruit is green. They are 7 – 20 cm long. They weigh in between 100 – 1000 g.
Avocado Seed: The fruit has one central seed; it is 5 – 6.4 cm long.
Properties of Avocado
Nutrients that are present in Avocado Fruit are:
- Fat: 14.66 g
- Protein: 2 g
- Carbohydrates: 8.53 g
- Energy: 160 kcal
- Minerals: Zinc, Iron, Calcium, Sodium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Manganese, and Magnesium
- Vitamins: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K.
Cultivars/varieties of Avocado
- The texture of the Avocado Fruit is smooth.
- The flavour is mild in flavour.
- It is a juicy fruit.
- When we cut the fruit we can extract the juice like lemon juice.
- This variety of Avocado is large in size.
- These are good for using them in soups and shakes.
- This variety of Avocado has thin papery skin.
- This variety of Avocado Fruit is small in size.
- Mexicola grande Avocado Fruit has juicy and sweet flesh.
- The variety is rich in fiber.
- This variety is also huge in size.
- The skin of this variety is very thick in texture.
- The texture of the fruit is fleshy and oily.
- The flesh is delicious in taste.
- It is too fleshy.
- This variety is one of the popular varieties in the world.
- The taste of this variety is like butter.
- The skin of this variety is thick in texture.
- This fruit flesh has high fat and oil content in it.
- The flavor of this fruit is unique in taste.
- This variety of fruit is pear like in shape and huge in size.
- The texture of the flesh is very creamy, dense and smooth.
- This variety of Avocado Fruit has similar characteristics to the Choquette Avocado.
- The flesh of this fruit is dry.
- This variety is known more for its lower content of oil and fat.
- The shape of this variety is round.
- They are green in colour.
- The flesh is sweet and delicious in taste.
- The size of this variety is large.
- This variety weighs more than the other varieties.
- The shape of this variety is round.
Soil and climate requirements for Growing Avocado Fruits in India
Almost all the Avocado plants can be grown in all types of soils except that of the saline type because the Avocado plants can’t tolerate saline and poor quality soils. The soils which are used should be well drained and aerated. The pH level of the soil should be maintained around 5.0 – 7.0.
The Avocado Fruit is a tropical fruit. These can be grown in warm climates. But too much humidity and warm winds are not suitable for the growth of the plants. These Avocado plants can also tolerate frost climatic conditions. To get good quality of fruits we need to grow them in warmer climates. The temperature, which is required for Growing Avocado Fruits is 20 – 25˚C. During flowering and fruiting the temperature should be above 18˚C. In August – September light frost can be tolerated by the plants during the flowering stage.
Land preparation and planting for Growing Avocado Fruits in India
While preparing the land for planting, we need to remove all the unwanted materials like pebbles, stones, weeds and old crop roots from the land. To attain fine tilth and smooth texture of the soil we need to plough it. Following the plough, harrowing and levelling should be done. During rainy season, we need to create proper drainage channels in our field so that there will be no water logs near plant roots. After ploughing, the soil should be mixed with organic matter which increases the fertility.
The seeds of Avocado plants are sown in the months of February – March. The pits should be dug with the dimensions of 90 x 90 x 90 cm. The seed should be sown inside the pit and should be covered with a mixture of soil and farmyard manure.
The ideal spacing of plants should be 8 – 12 cm apart. But some varieties of Avocado plants need more spacing based on their growth and their characteristics. For better growth of plants proper space is required.
Propagation method for Growing Avocado Fruits in India
Propagation of Avocado plants is done through the seeds. We can try the methods of vegetative propagation like grafting or budding for propagating the Avocado plants. Before sowing them in the soil we need to remove the coat of the seed while sowing them directly in the soil. When they are 7 – 8 months old they should be transplanted from nursery to the main field. The seeds which are used for sowing should be taken from the matured Avocado Fruits.
Manure and fertilization method in Growing Avocado Fruits in India
A manure requirement by the plants is high. We need to provide high dosage of Nitrogen along with organic manure. To get a good yield from the plants we need to supply them with required micronutrients.
Irrigation methods in Growing Avocado Fruits in India
During irrigation of Avocado plants, saline water should be avoided because it hampers the fruit growth. Right after the transplantation the first irrigation should be given. In every 3 – 4 weeks the irrigation should be given in summer season. Irrigation helps in developing the oil content in the Avocado Fruit and mostly sprinkler irrigation system is used. To provide good moisture to plants mulching process is the best during the winter season. In rainy season the irrigation process should be avoided.
Flowering and Pollination in Growing Avocado Fruits in India
The Avocado plant produces millions of flowers in the flowering season. But most of them fall without producing the fruit. The purpose of encouraging mass flowering of the tree is to attract good visit of pollen vectors. The plants are as self – pollinating in nature.
Read: Rose Apple Farming.
Intercultural methods in Growing Avocado Fruits in India
Weeding: Regular weeding is very important for the Avocado crop or they may be affected with pest and diseases. These weeds can be destroyed in manual process or by applying weedicides or herbicides. Light weedicides are more preferred.
Intercropping: the Avocado crop can be intercropped with legume crops like peas, soybean, lentil, peanut, tamarind, etc. And also they can be intercropped with the vegetable crops to earn good and more income.
Mulching:This helps the soil in holding and attaining a good moisture level.
Pest and diseases control measures in Growing Avocado Fruits
The pest and diseases that affect the Avocado crop are:
- Leaf spot
- Root rot
- Fruit spot diseases
- Mealy bug
- Stem rot
The pest and diseases can be controlled by natural methods or by chemical methods. Mostly, the natural methods are preferred because if we use the chemicals for killing the pest and diseases sometimes they may affect the crop also.
Harvesting techniques in Growing Avocado Fruits
This Avocado’s are harvested from the trees before they ripen. Like bananas the Avocados should be plucked from the tree raw then they will ripen. After 5 – 6 years the Avocado trees start bearing the fruits. The time of harvest differs for each variety. We need to harvest them when we observe the skin of the fruit gets darkened. As long as the fruits stay on the tree they remain hard. They get soft after they are plucked from the trees.
Post harvesting techniques in Growing Avocado Fruits
Cleaning: Each and every fruit should be cleaned as they may contain fertilizers on them at the time of growing.
Storing: The temperature should be low so that the metabolism gets low of the Avocado, it can be stored for a long time in cold storage. The temperature of the cold storage should be at 2˚C.
If we are storing the Avocado Fruit in the refrigerator, the temperature should be around 5˚C – 12˚C and the relative humidity should be 85 – 95 %.
Maturity: The ideal temperature for the fruits to reach maturity is 15˚C – 20˚C. The temperature above 25˚C is not suitable for ripening.
Sorting: Avocados should be sorted as per their size and shape.
Grading: These Avocados should be graded as per their colour, firmness, and quality
Packing: For domestic and export of Avocado fruit, they should be packed in a single layer. Each box should contain 12 – 28 fruits.
Yield of Avocado Fruits
The yield of Avocado differs for each variety; good yield also depends on the farming techniques and crop management techniques. The expected yield from each tree of Avocado is 100 – 500 fruits. During the first year the yield may be less, but in the subsequent years, the yield keeps increasing. The yield of fruits per hectare of land is 7.5 – 15 tonnes.