Monday, November 2, 2009


TROPICAL FRUITS Tropical fruits include bananas, pineapples, papayas, mangoes, dates, coconut, Brazil nuts and many others.
Dates grow in desert conditions. They need water in the soil, which is often supplied by irrigation, but they will not thrive without high temperatures, low relative humid­ity and cloudless, sunny skies. Dates are, thus, not truly 'tropical', as they are also able to withstand mild frosts in winter. They are grown in all the desert areas of Africa and south-west Asia, the leading producers being Egypt, Iraq (where it is grown in the Tigris-Eupharates valley), Iran, and Saudi Arabia. Other producers of some impor­tance are Pakistan, Algeria and Sudan.

(Musa paradisiaca) is an important tropical fruit both as a subsistence crop and in world trade. Plantains, the most starchy varieties, are a staple food in some parts of the tropics. Bananas require deep, well-drained soils of high fertility; alluvial soils are ideal. Constant high tempera­tures are required; if temperature drops below 11°C the crop is damaged. They need plenty of water. Bananas take about a year to 15 months to mature, and each stem bears only one fruit head. During shipment by sea or by rail they must be kept at temperatures between 10 °C and 15°C, depending on the variety.

The main banana producing countries are Brazil, India, Indonesia, Ecuador, Thailand, Colombia and Honduras. The main exporters are Ecuador and the Central American states and West Indian islands. In India, banana, which is a moisture- and heat-loving plant, is broadly of two types­t~ble and culinary. Among the former are Poovan in Chennai (also known as Karpura Chakkarekeli in Andhra Pradesh); Mortaman, Champa and Amritsagar in West Bengal; Champa and Mortaman in Assam and Orissa; Safed Velchi, Lal Yelchi and Rajeli in Maharashtra. Among the culinary are Nandran, Monthan, Myndoli and Pacha Montha Bathis. Maximum production comes from three states­
. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. Other areas are Gujarat, Assam, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Tripura and Meghalaya.

Pineapple (Ananas comosus) is grown in many parts of the tropics. They grow well in maritime situations and on peaty soils on coastal plains. It grows in all types of soils but can tolerate neither very high temperatures nor frost. China (including Taiwan) is the largest producer, followed by the (JSA (Hawaii) and Brazil. In India, Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Tripura, Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Kerala and Karnataka are the important places of production of pineapple.

Cashew (Anacardium occidentale) is grown mainly in peninsular India for its fruit as well as for its nuts, but mainly for the latter. It was in 16th century that the cashew plantations were introduced in India by the Portuguese. However the first seeds were brought from Brazil.

Cashew cannot tolerate severe summers or winters. It requires a moderately high temperature of about 20°C and a rainfall varying from 500 to 4000 mm. It is not very exacting in soil requirements, as it grows even in very gravelly soils. Continued adequate soil moisture is, how­ever, necessary for the success of a cashew plantation.
Cashew is commonly grown in the cbastal districts of Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra. There are plan­tation.! on the east coast in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, West Bengal and Pondicherry. Tripura produces some cashew, too. Area and production is maximum in Kerala.

(Mangifera ind~ca) grows throughout India from the sea level up to about 1500 metres. It is adaptable to a wide range of soil and climatic conditions. It can withstand both dry conditions and heavy rainfall. The mango is a native of monsoon lands and prefers a climate with 750 to 2500 II)II\ rainfall concentrated from June to September and mean shade temperatures of about 28°C.

The maximum production of mangoes in India comes from Uttar Pradesh, Bihar; Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Kerala among others. The important varieties grown includes Chausa, Safeda, Langra, Dasheri of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Alphonso of Maharashtra and Goa, Banganapally of Andhra Pradesh, Totapari and Kesar of Gujarat, Rurnani and Neelurn of Tamil Nadu and Kamataka.

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