Monday, November 2, 2009

SUB-TROPICAL AND WARM TEMPERATE FRUITS

SUB-TROPICAL AND WARM TEMPERATE FRUITS In this group cbme the citrus fruit, such as oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruits as well as typically Mediterranean fruit such as olives, figs and grapes. In these regions we also have walnuts, chestnuts and almonds. Nuts are pro­duced in large quantities in the Mediterranean lands. The main producers of nuts are Spain, Italy and Turkey.

Grapes
are grown widely in the Mediterranean climes, of not only Europe, but also South Africa, Australia and the USA as well as in nearby sub-tropical and warm temperate regions. Grapes grow well in dry climates having a short sharp winter and a long dry summer. They do not thrive in regions having humid summers. Grape grows best on light, friable loamy soils with free drainage. Heavy soils are -unsuitable.
The main places of production of grapes in India are in Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kamataka and Tamil Nadu. There are different varieties grown in different regions.

Citrus fruit are the most important fruit of the warm­temperate and sub-tropical regions, and among the citrus fruit the orange is the most widely grown. It is now regarded as a Mediterranean fruit but its origin was in China, where it is still grown in large quantities. The warm, sunny summers and mild winters of Mediterranean regions around the world suit its requirements ideally though it cannot tolerate prolonged summer droughts. It needs fairly cool temperatures in winter, just sufficient to check growth so that it can begin growing again in spring with renewed vigour. The main producers are Spain, Italy, California and Israel. Distinctive varieties of orange are known; e.g., Israel grows 'Jaffa' oranges, southern Spain grows bitter Seville oranges (used for making marmalade) -and 'tangerines' (similar to the 'mandarin' oranges of China).

In India, mandarin orange grows successfully in tropi­cal and sub-tropical parts mainly under rainfed conditions and between elevations of 600 and 1500 metres. Orange can be grown successfully on a wide range of soils, but the ideal soil is medium or light loam with a slightly heavier subsoil. Heavy black soil, underlain with murrain and having good drainage, is also suitable. In. the hills and humid regions, where planting is generally done on steep slopes, the land is properly terraced. In the plains where the treeS have to be irrigated the land should be levelled.

In India, oranges are produced in Assam, Nagpur, Punjab, Wynad, Coorg, Palani hills and the Nilgiris of the south.

Another important fruit grown in India is the litchi which is produced in the foothills of the Himalaya.

Coconut
(Cocos nucifera), a perennial palm, is grown extensively in humid coastal tracts of tropical countries. It requires 1000 mm to 2250 mm rainfall per annum and stands even higher rainfall if the soil is well drained. Temperatures of about 27°C and frost-free climate are needed.

Coconut does best on sandy loarns along sea coasts and in adjoining river valleys. It also grows in red loams, light grey soils, light black soils and peaty soils. The tree takes about 5 to 6 years to mature and then yields continuously for many years. About fifty nuts may be obtained from one tree over the year, harvesting every one or two months, which is the equivalent of about 4.5 litres (1 gallon) of oil. The oil is obtained from the copra, the dried flesh of the nut.' The milling residue, poonac, is a livestock feed. The husks of the coconut can be used to obtain coir, used in rope-making and matting; the shells can be used as fuel, or ground into a powder which can be used in making fibre boards and mosquito coils. The flowers are used to make a fermented drink called toddy. The stalks of the fronds are used to make brushes and brooms.

The leading copra-producing countries are the Philip­pines (producing more than ha~f of the world's output) and Indonesia, followed by India and Sri Lanka. In India, the main contributors are Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh in that order. Per-palm productivity is highest in Karnataka. Other states producing coconut are Maharashtra, Orissa and West Bengal.

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