Kokum Farming Guide:
Today, let us discuss Kokum Farming Practices and planting methods.
Introduction of Kokum:
Kokum is one of tropical minor fruit crop grown throughout India. This tree is commonly known as “kokum butter tree”, “mangosteen oil tree” or “brindonia talllow tree”. This fruit-bearing tree has culinary, industrial and pharmaceutical uses. In India, kokum is widely grown in tropical forests of the Western Ghats in Konkan, Goa, Kerala and south Karnataka. Kokum scientific name is “Garcinia indica”.
Health benefits of Kokum:
There are tonnes of health benefits with Kokum Fruit or it’s juice.
- Kokum acts as a good digestive aid
- Kokum fruit is a good source of antioxidants
- Kokum aids in weight loss
- Kokum is a heart-healthy fruit
- Kokum helps in relieving from constipation
- Kokum helps in building immunity
- Kokum boosts brain activity.
Kokum high Production States in India:
Goa, Konkan, Kerala, TamilNadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Assam, West Bengal.
Kokum Local Names in India:
The following are the local names of kokum.
Common names: Goa butter tree, kokum butter tree, mangosteen, and Kokam.
Cambodge / Malabar Tamarind / Kokam (English), Kokum (Hindi), Kokum, Bheranda, Bhiranda, Kokamba, Kokambi, Ratamba (Marathi), Murgal (Tamil)
Kaattampi, Kokkam,Kudampuli (Malayalam), Murgina, Punarpuli (Kannada), Tintali (Oriya), Kokam (Gujarati), Bhirind, Kokam (Konkani), Kokam (Bengali), and Koakam ( Punjabi).
Varieties of Kokum in India:
Konkan Amruta (S-8) and Konkan Hatis are two released varieties of kokum. However, there are other high yielding and early fruit bearing cultivars available in the Indian market.
- High yielders: Pednem Keri 1, Kasarpal 5, Kharekhazan 1,Borim 2, and Parashte 3.
- Early fruit bearers: Gola 17, Savoi Kamini1, Mashem4, Hedode 1, Parashte 3, Pednem Keri 1 and Hedode 1.
Climate Requirement for Kokum Farming:
Kokum grows well in hot humid climatic conditions under partial shade. This crop requires the temperature range of 20 °C to 36 °C with 70% humidity and a well-distributed annual rainfall of 250 cm to 400 cm for its optimum growth.
Soil Requirement for Kokum Farming:
Kokum crop can be grown in lateritic, sandy, clay and loamy soils. However, it thrives best in well-deep soils with good moisture holding capacity. These trees can tolerate drought and water-logged conditions to some extent. Warm and moderate humid conditions are most favorable for its cultivation.
Propagation in Kokum Farming:
Seed propagation or Vegetative propagation is the methods used in kokum cultivation. As seed propagation is time consuming, vegetative propagation is preferred.
Land Preparation, Spacing and Planting in Kokum Farming:
Land should be brought to a fine tilth stage by giving 1 or 2 thorough ploughings. This also should make the field weed free. Dig the pits of 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm size and fill the pits with top soil along with 10 to 12 kg of farm yard manure. Kokum planting should be carried out at the onset of monsoon. After plantation, the soil around the roots in the pits should be pressed and grafts should be staked using a rope and two strong pegs. Make sure to plant the grafts at a distance of 5 m to 6 m between plants and rows. Seedlings of kokum can be planted with a spacing of 4 m x 4 m.
Intercropping in Kokum Farming:
In Kokum cultivation, farmers can choose to have intercrops in the kokum plantation from 5 to 6 years of planting. The preferred intercrops in kokum orchid are sweet potato, vegetables, flower crops, and stylo grass. Kokum also can be cultivated as an intercrop with a spacing of 6 meters x 6 meters in coconut gardens.
Irrigation in Kokum Farming:
Irrigation should be carried out immediately after planting. The frequency of irrigation mainly depends on the weather conditions and soil moisture holding capacity. In a dry and hot climate, plants should be irrigated at 7 to 10 interval. It does not require any watering in the rainy season. To better utilize the water source one can opt for drip irrigation in the kokum cultivation.
Weed Control and Intercultural Operations in Kokum Farming:
Manual weeding can be carried to keep the tree basins weed free and clean. Mulching can be done by paddy straw or coconut leaves to hold the moisture and check the weed growth at the plant base. Periodic removal of water shoots, rootstock sprouts, criss cross and lower branches should be carried out as part of the intercultural operation.
Manures and Fertilizers in Kokum Farming:
To enrich the soil fertility, supplement the field with appropriate well-decomposed manure while preparing the land. In the first year of planting, each plant should be given with farmyard manure of 2kg and chemical fertilizers N: P:K in the ratio of 50:25:250 grams. This dose should be increased every year and from a tenth year onwards, each tree should be applied with 20 kg of farm yard manure (FYM), 500 grams of ‘N’, 250 grams of ‘P’ and 250 grams of ‘K’. These fertilizers should be applied by ring method under the canopy of the kokum plants in the month of august after monsoon is over.
Pests and Diseases in Kokum Farming:
There are no serious pests and diseases found in kokum plantation. However, leaf miner andMealybugss cause damage to the tender leaves. Spraying the plants with 0.03% phosphamidon or 0.03% dimethoate will check these pests.
Harvesting in Kokum Farming:
Kokum grown from grafts start bearing fruits from 4 to 5 years of planting where as seedlings will become ready for harvesting in 7 to 8 years of planting. Manual hand harvesting can be practiced in kokum farming.
Yield in Kokum Farming:
The yield of the crop will depend on the cultivar (variety), soil, weather and farm management practices. On average, 45 to 60 kg of fruits/tree can be expected/year.
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