Kiwifruit is the most cultivated commercial crop in many countries like China, New Zealand and Japan etc. It is originated from China and hence the name Chinese gooseberry. In India the prominence of its cultivation has increased just few years back as the people began to know its enormous health benefits. It mostly grows in the hilly areas of Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Kerala, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya. Some experts say its cultivation is little bit expensive, but if you pass those initial hurdles there would be unimaginable profits. So lets see what are the favorable conditions for its cultivation.
Climate and Soil type
- Kiwi cultivation requires different climatic conditions at different stages. At the initial stage it demands winter temperatures where as during leafing and harvesting stage, it requires frost free weather.
- According to farming experts anything below 10oF during winter will kill the plant and at most care should be taken during summer season.
- Coming to soils, deep fertile soils, well drained, sandy and loam soils are said to be ideal for its cultivation.
- Soils with a pH range of 7 to 7.5 are suitable for its cultivation. Anything above this range results in Mn deficiency further affecting the overall yield.
- After clearing previous weeds and wastage, the stable land is made in to block of rows to plant the veins.
- Experts suggest to make the rows in North - South direction so that appropriate sunlight falls on to the crops.
- As it is a sensitive crop, digging of pits, manure adding and filling of pits are to be done by December. If not, you may find huge drop in the final yield.
- Generally planting process takes place in the month of January.
- There are wide varieties of Kiwifruits in India like Allison, Hayward, Abbott, Bruno, Monty and Tomuri. Out of these Hayward is the most used variety.
- Kiwi seedlings are obtained through cuttings and grafting methods. The seedlings are transplanted at the same depth followed in the nursery. For healthy growth experts suggest to prune the plants at the initial stage.
- The minimum spacing distance between the plants depend on the variety and method adopted.
- For T-bar method, a row to row space of 4m and plant to plant distance of 5m is followed. where as in pergola system a row to row distance of 6m is must.
- Irrigation process is very sensitive in kiwifruit cultivation. If proper care is not taken, it affects the overall output.
- Hence the farming experts suggest to go for it during September and October months.
- An interval of 10 to 15 days is recommended for better irrigation.
- For every year 20 kg farmyard manure with 0.5kg NPK mixture is recommended.
- After one year the dosage is increased and from the fifth year onwards 900g N, 550g P, 900g K with FYM is given per each plant every year.
- Till now this crop doesnt have any serious issues regarding pests and diseases.
- The only thing is, if the soil is not properly drained, there may be chance of getting fungal diseases. Hence the farmers are advised to maintain proper water drainage systems.
- Harvesting is done after 4 to 5 years of plantation, for commercial crop it takes two to three years more.
- According to experts kiwifruits get handy in the months of August. But it is only harvested when the sugar levels reach 12 to 15 percent, which takes place in the months of October to November.
- At an average each vine yields 50 to 100 kg of Kiwifruits, where as commercial production gives 25 tons per hectare.