SAPOTA CULTIVATION

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

Climate
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).

Soil

It can be grown in variety of soils like sandy loam, deep alluvium and medium black soils. pH should be 6-8.

Planting materials
Sapota can be propagated by approach grafting. Grafting can be done on by using rootstocks too

Planting season
The ideal season of planting is June to December.

Spacing
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 

Planting
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.

Irrigation
Irrigate copiously immediately after planting and on the third day and once in 10 days afterwards till the graft establishes.

After cultivation
For higher productivity remove the rootstock sprouts, water shoots, criss-cross and lower branches.

Intercropping
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.

Crop Protection

The major diseases are Souty mould, Blight and Powdery mildew

The major pests that can be found are Leaf webber, hairy caterpillar and budworm.

Harvest
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.

Ripening
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).

Yield
Depending up on the variety the fruit yield ranges from 20 – 25 t/ha/year.

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