Salient Features of Kiwifruit Cultivation

Ahsan Ramzan, Mujahid Ali, Tehseen Ashraf

(Department of Horticulture, College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha)

Citrus, mango guava, date palm etc. are major fruits cultivated in Pakistan. Kiwi is a minor fruit, its area of production is very low in Pakistan. But nutritional value of kiwi fruit is very high. It is tropical and sub-tropical fruit. Kiwifruit has high medicinal value. Kiwifruit contains a high nutritional value, vitamin A, vitamin E, and potassium. More consumption of kiwi fruit is better for heart patients.

Kiwifruit is also known as Chinese gooseberry and called China miracle. Its botanical name is Actinidia deliciosa and belongs to family actinidiacea. It is native to central China, it is being grown commercially in New Zealand, Italy, USA, Japan, Australia, France, Chile and Spain. Kiwifruit is national fruit of New Zealand. Cultivation of kiwi fruit spread from China to new Zeeland first commercially orchard and then California. In India, the kiwi was first planted in the Lal Bagh Gardens at Bangalore as an ornamental tree. In Pakistan, it is mostly grown in Mansehra for the research project. Kiwifruit is not commercially grown in Pakistan, but it can be grown in Kashmir, Mansehra etc. Kiwifruit vine is not resistant to frost. It cannot be bear very low and very high temperature. The fruits are small, oval and pulp is yellow, green etc. Distinct species exhibits variation in the fruit size, some have large and others have very small size sweet and almost citrus taste with several small seeds that are embedded in the fleshy fruits.

The most favorable conditions for the growing of kiwi fruit is in central China. This plant requires favorable temperature is 22oC to 30oC with humidity for his better fruit. Its fruit normally eats as fresh. The main constituent of the carbohydrates in kiwifruit is starch and sugar. Kiwifruit contains 42 calories, 0.8 g protein, o.4g total fat, 2.1g fiber, 64-milligram vitamin C,3 microgram vitamin A, 0.2 milligram iron per fruit. It contains vitamin A, E and a small amount of potassium. The kiwifruit leaves and branches are boiled in water and liquid is used for the treatment of mange in dogs. The scraped stems of the vine are used as the rope in China and paper has been made from leave and bark. It is used as a tonic for a woman after childbirth and growing children. The fruit is handpicked and use in the home. They are served as in the salad, in fish, fowl and meat dishes and prepared as a cake filling. The fruit is used in bread and various beverages. Only overripe and pored shape fruit is used in ice cream and juice production. Unripe fruit is used for making jams, jelly, and chutney. It is used for health full looking skin. It is used for better sleep. Kiwifruit is mostly used for heart patients and used for lowering blood pressure. It is used to ensure good eyes health. Kiwifruit is used for the excellent way of treating depression. Consumption of kiwifruit is used for treatment as the kidney stone.

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It can be grown on a wide range of soil, but deep, rich, well-drained sandy loam soil is best for kiwi production. Kashmiri soil is best for kiwifruit production. Soil pH slightly less than 6.9 results in maximum yield but higher pH up to7.3 effects adversely because of Mn deficiency. It is cultivated through sexual and a-sexual method. In the sexual method, it is cultivated through seed and a- sexual it is cultivated through cutting, budding, grafting, and micropropagation. Kiwifruit is commercially propagated through budding and grafting. This is the most popular and easiest method of propagation. The seedling becomes ready for budding and grafting normally at the end of the first growing season. Its stem diameter is 8-10 mm. The scion wood is collected from the one-year-old shoots for dormant season grafting.

Hard-wood cutting, semi hard-wood cutting, and softwood cutting are used for cutting of nursery plant. If cutting is used for propagation it is treated with 500 ppm Indole butyric acid (IBA) for 15 seconds or treated with naphthalene acetic acid (NAA). A rooting medium consisting of farmyard manure, soil, sand, leaf compost in the ratio of 1:1:1:1 results in highest rooting in open condition. By cutting if it is treated with chemical 80% cutting are start sprouting and regular watering and cultural practices are given to the cutting give a number of plants. Firstly, cutting is growing in the nursery bed than after one year it is transplanted in the field. The cutting growing season is February to the first week of March or October to November. In layout, it is planted at the distance of row to row 4 meter and plant to plant 6 meters. Kiwifruit flower is very difficult to pollinate because the flower is not very attractive. It is pollinated by honey bees.  Planting time is December to February and the time of planting one male plant and 9 female plants have planted the ratio between the vines for better pollination. Kiwi is deciduous vine and for good fruit production, a male plant is interplanted with the female plant. A rainfall of about 150 cm per year is sufficient. Different varieties of kiwi fruit are Abbott, Allison, Bruno, Tomuri, Monty, Hayward etc.

Pruning and training are important management practices for its reproductive and vegetative growth. The vine grows 2-3 meter every year and overcrowding occur if it is not pruned in summer and winter. It bears heavy fruit if give proper pruning and regular watering for vine growth. Its main aim of training is to establish and maintain the framework of main branches and fruiting arm. Irrigation depends upon the soil, climate, age of vine or temperature etc. Irrigation 10-15 days interval is quite satisfactory for good economic return. Kiwifruit requires much water due to their vigorous vegetative growth. Irrigation is also needed during September and October when the fruit is on initial stage for growing and development. Farmyard manure given before planting of kiwi fruit or at the time of land preparation fertilizer given to the plant at the rate of 0.5 kg mixture of fertilizer and 15 g nitrogen is applied per vine. nitrogen apply vines give proper length or to complete its vegetative growth and the reproductive stage. If proper pruning and training is given to the vine, then we get more yield per vine.

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The shelf life of kiwi fruit is maximum 6 months and it can be stored in cool place eight weeks in refrigerators. Without a refrigerator, the shelf life of fruit is 6 months at the temperature of -0.6 to 0C. The kiwifruit is fleshy. It tree takes 4-5 years for bearing and full bearing; its tree age is a 7-8 year. Harvesting period varies from area to area and firstly fruit mature lower altitude and later higher altitude. Because of variation in temperature. Harvesting period November and December. kiwi fruit having 6.2% TSS. Two pickings are done in kiwi fruit and larger berries are harvested firstly and smaller fruit is time harvested later and the fruit is harvested when fruit size increased. On average fruit, yield varies 50-100kg fruit per vines. Fruit weight is 70 g and after harvesting packing in polythene bags, these bags are very useful and maintain fruit shelf life for a longer time. Its packing is done in cardboard boxes and in baskets etc. Different insect, pest, and diseases attack kiwi fruit e.g. boxelder bug, armored scale, crown gall, Armillaria root rot etc. If kiwi fruit protected from insect pest and diseases we should give proper management, insecticide, and pesticide use.

Kiwifruit is also high in folic acid which makes it an ideal fruit to be consumed during pregnancy as folic acid prevent neural tube defect. Only overripe and poor shape fruit is used for flavoring ice cream and commercial juices production etc.in some country they are used sometimes coated with chocolates. So, we should encourage the growth of this minor fruit as Pakistan is blessed with all kind of seasons with plenty of resources.

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