Solan, Jan 19 : After apple cultivation, the successful cultivation of Japanese persimmon is all set to transform the economy of the orchardists in lower and mid hill zones of Himachal Pradesh. Commonly known as the 'Japani Phal', the Japanese persimmon was first introduced by the British in Kullu valley of the state in early twenties. Later, the fruit was introduced to Jammu and Kashmir, Coonoor and Nilgiri hills of south India.
In spite of the fact that soil and climate conditions of India suits for its successful cultivation it had not made much headway in horticulture sector. However, the growing demand of this fruit in the market during the past few years due to its attractive colour and delicious taste, the cultivation of this fruit has now started catching up amongst the horticulturists of the lower and mid hill Himahcal. Thanks to the scientists of Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry Nauni who had after prolonged trials have established that cultivation of this exotic fruit in sub tropical zones could prove as lucrative as the apple in higher, tropical zones of the state.
Besides its high demand in the market, persimmon has also provided an open option of diversification to the growers, especially in areas where low quality citrus and stone fruits have dominated the horticulture sector, since agues. Currently persimmon was being grown over 2,000 hectare of the land in Solan, Hamipur, Sirmour, Kullu, Mandi, Kangra and Una districts with an annual production of around 3000 tone. Presently, Hachiya, Fuyu and some other varieties were becoming most popular amongst the growers owing to fascinating look and size of the fruit.
The plant of this fruit starts yielding within four and five years, similar time taken by the apple tree. A single tree gave 2 quintal of production that was considered also equalant to a mature apple plant. But, in comparison to apple, Persimmon was fetching much higher price - between Rs 100 to 150 per kg in various markets of the country. On the top of it, persimmon did not require any application of spray and special fertilizer. Also it could be grown on all types of soil of lower and mid hill zones of the state.
The plant of this fruit was not fastidious in soil requirement and could withstand drought and frost conditions effectively in comparison citrus fruits. Since it is a hardy fruit tree and is resistant to varied temperature, no specific technique cultural techniques are needed for persimmon,” said scientists of department of pomology department of the varsity.(UNI)