Manilkhara achras, Sapotaceae
It is originated from India
Sapota is also known as chiku. It is one of the important fruit crops of India which is cultivated for its fruit value. It is a good source of glucose and calories hence boosts energy after consumtion. It maintains good health of hair and skin. It promotes gut health and boosts immunity.
Varieties and Hybrids
Kallipatti, Cricket ball, PKM 1, PKM 2, PKM 3, Guthi, oval,Co-1, Co-2, CO-3
Sapota is a tropical crop and can be grown up to an altitude of 1200 metres. It requires a warm and humid climate(10-38 degrees).
It can be grown in variety of soils like sandy loam, deep alluvium and medium black soils. pH should be 6-8.
Sapota can be propagated by approach grafting. Grafting can be done on by using rootstocks too
The ideal season of planting is June to December.
8 x 8 m (156 plants/ha) for conventional planting.
Adopt high density planting at 8 x 4 m (312 plants / ha) for high productivity
Dig pits of 1 m x 1 m x 1 m size and fill up with top soil mixed with 10 Kg of FYM, 1 Kg of neem cake . Plant the grafts at the centre of the pit with ball of earth intact. The graft joint must be atleast 15 cm above the ground level. After planting stake the plants properly to avoid bending or damage to graft joint during heavy winds.
Manures and Fertilizers
It requires FYM of 10kg/ha and NPK of 0.2:0.2:0.3 for one year old plants. Gradually it after growth it requires NPK of 1:1:1.5 for 6 year old plants
It also requires foliar spray of Mn and Zn during fruit set period.
Irrigate copiously immediately after planting and on the third day and once in 10 days afterwards till the graft establishes.
For higher productivity remove the rootstock sprouts, water shoots, criss-cross and lower branches.
Legumes and short duration vegetable crops may be raised as intercrop during pre-bearing stage. Raising of intercrop serve as additional income and enriches the soil fertility by fixing the atmospheric nitrogen.
The major diseases are Souty mould, Blight and Powdery mildew
The major pests that can be found are Leaf webber, hairy caterpillar and budworm.
A mature fruit is dull brown in colour and the colour immediately below the skin when scratched is of lighter shade, while in the immature fruits it is green. The mature fruits are harvested by hand picking.
Ripen the fruits by keeping a beaker containing 5000 ppm Ethrel + 10 g NaOH pellets in an air tight chamber. (5 ml Ethrel in one lit of water is 5000 ppm).
Depending up on the variety the fruit yield ranges from 20 – 25 t/ha/year.