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‘Apple guava’ cultivation fruitful

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Sweet: ‘Apple guava’ at a farm near Tirunelveli.
Sweet: ‘Apple guava’ at a farm near Tirunelveli.

P. Sudhakar

Its growth and yielding capacity are assessed in Tirunelveli

TIRUNELVELI: ‘Apple guava’, a delicious variety with red skin like apple, procured from Jain Irrigation Systems’ nursery at Jalgaon in Maharashtra, has been tried here successfully when he attempted to assess its growth and yielding capacity in Tirunelveli district by the Horticultural Officer, Radhapuram, S. Raja Mohamed.

Guava, (Psidium guajava), known as ‘poor man’s apple’ and one of the most familiar fruits in India, assumes special importance because of the plant’s hardy nature, by which it has high adaptability to a wide range of climatic and soil conditions.

The fruit has very high vitamin ‘C’ content (200 to 300 mg/100gm of edible portion). Besides this, it is a fruit best suited for jelly making as pectin content. It can tolerate high level of salinity in the soil as well as in the irrigation water. When he was deputed to attend a micro irrigation training programme held at Jain Irrigation Systems, Jalgaon during March 2004, Mr. Raja Mohamed bought two ‘apple guava’ saplings from the nursery of JIS and planted the layers in a farm near here, of which one yielded better results with 23 fruits in the third year of planting, i.e. in July 2007 while the rest dried out. On attaining maturity, the fruit sported striking apple red colour.

Tasty

The ‘Apple Guava’ fruits are so tasty and with less number of soft seeds and weighed 110 to 112 gm on an average. The Chairman, All India Coordinated Research Project on Sub-Tropical Fruits, R. P. Kachru, who along with his colleagues including O. P. Srinivasa, G.P. Gupta, Dr. Ramkison, Dr. Narain Rishi, and Dr. Om Prakash visited Killikulam Agricultural College and Research Institute recently as part of his ‘Quinquieniel Review Team Visit’, was quite amazed on seeing the photographs of ‘apple guava’ presented by K.A. Syed Kader Oli, Deputy Director of Horticulture, Tirunelveli, and appreciated the efforts made by the Horticulture Department, Tirunelveli.

Study under way

Since Europeans prefer red-skinned mango and guava and these fruits fetch premium price there, extensive studies are being made here to identify the best-suited area for cultivation.

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