Chakotra Fruit Cultivation and Farming
Category : Fruit
Profitability : Moderate
Market Exposure : National , Medium
Cultivation area in india: Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Punjab
Market Price : Fluctuating
Export Potential : Low
Cultivation Knowledge : Easy to cultivate, Takes time to profit.
Infrastructure cost : Apart from land, no other significant infrastructure cost
Chakotra, also known as pomelo, Chinese grapefruit, or citrus maxima, is a popular fruit in India. It is a large fruit that can weigh up to several pounds, with a thick rind that is green or yellow in color. Here are some key factors to consider for chakotra fruit cultivation and a basic business plan:
Climate and soil: Chakotra fruit thrives in tropical and subtropical climates with well-drained soils. The ideal temperature for growth is between 25-30°C.
Propagation: Chakotra can be propagated through seeds or stem cuttings. It takes about 5-6 years for the tree to start bearing fruit.
Planting: Chakotra fruit trees should be planted in a sunny location with plenty of room for growth. The planting hole should be at least twice as wide and deep as the root ball. After planting, water the tree well and add a layer of mulch around the base to help retain moisture.
Season : chakotra is a seasonal fruit and it grows best during the winter months in India. The fruiting season usually starts from November and lasts until March or April, depending on the variety and growing conditions.
Irrigation : Chakotra plants require regular watering, especially during the first two years after planting. During this period, the trees should be watered every 10-15 days. After the trees are established, the frequency of watering can be reduced to once a month. The amount of water required depends on the soil moisture content, weather conditions, and tree age. Generally, chakotra trees require 50-60 liters of water per tree per week. The most common irrigation methods used for chakotra plants are drip irrigation and sprinkler irrigation.
Care and maintenance: Chakotra fruit trees require regular watering, especially during dry spells. Fertilizer should be applied in the spring and summer, and pruning should be done to remove dead or diseased branches.
Spacing: The recommended spacing between chakotra plants is 6-8 meters (20-26 feet) in all directions. This spacing allows the plants to have enough room for growth and development, and also facilitates proper air circulation and sunlight penetration.
Density: The recommended density of chakotra plants per acre is around 70-100 plants. This density ensures that the plants have enough space to grow and produce a high yield, while also allowing for efficient irrigation and maintenance.
Harvesting : Chakotra fruit is ready for harvest when the rind turns yellow or greenish-yellow. The fruit should be picked by hand, and care should be taken not to damage the rind. Chakotra fruit should be harvested when it is fully ripe but before it becomes overripe or begins to rot. It’s important to monitor the fruit closely during the harvest season and pick it regularly to avoid fruit drop and spoilage. Chakotra fruit is typically harvested by hand using pruning shears or a knife. The fruit should be cut from the tree with a short stem or pedicel to avoid damaging the fruit or the tree. Care should be taken to avoid injuring the tree or leaving stubs that may attract pests or diseases. Chakotra fruit can be stored for several weeks at room temperature or for several months in a cool, dry place.
Post-harvest handling: After harvesting, chakotra fruit should be carefully handled to avoid bruising or damage. The fruit should be sorted and graded based on size, color, and quality. It can be stored for several weeks in a cool, dry place with good ventilation.
Yield per tree : The yield of chakotra fruit varies depending on factors such as variety, age of the tree, and growing conditions. On average, a mature chakotra tree can produce 200-300 fruits per year.
Market information : Some of the regions in India that have a high demand for Chakotra include Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, and Rajasthan. These areas are known for their production of high-quality Chakotra and have a strong local market for the fruit.
Varieties of Chakotra and yield per tree
- Baneshan – This variety is grown in Maharashtra and has an average yield of 150-200 fruits per tree per year.
- Kaghzi – This variety is primarily grown in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh, and has an average yield of 100-150 fruits per tree per year.
- Jabapur – This variety is grown in Madhya Pradesh and has an average yield of 50-60 fruits per tree per year.
- Bambai – This variety is primarily grown in Maharashtra and has an average yield of 100-120 fruits per tree per year.
- Kasoori – This variety is grown in Punjab and has an average yield of 80-100 fruits per tree per year.
- Assam Red – This variety is primarily grown in the northeastern state of Assam, and has an average yield of 40-50 fruits per tree per year.
- Coorg Pink – This variety is grown in the southern state of Karnataka and has an average yield of 80-100 fruits per tree per year.
Average size of fruit by variety
|Variety||Size Range (grams/kilograms)|
|Baneshan||500g – 1.5kg|
|Kaghzi||500g – 1kg|
|Jabapur||500g – 1kg|
|Bambai||500g – 1kg|
|Kasoori||200g – 500g|
|Assam Red||500g – 1kg|
|Coorg Pink||500g – 1kg|
Propagation of chakotra
- Seeds: The most common method of propagation is through seeds. The seeds are extracted from mature fruits and sown in a seedbed or in pots filled with a mixture of soil and compost. The seeds usually take around 2-4 weeks to germinate, and the seedlings can be transplanted into the field after they are 6-8 months old.
- Stem cuttings: Stem cuttings can also be used to propagate chakotra. Cuttings of 10-15 cm in length are taken from mature, healthy plants and planted in a well-prepared soil bed. The cuttings are watered regularly and kept in a partially shaded area. The cuttings usually take around 2-3 months to root and can be transplanted into the field after they are 6-8 months old.
- Air layering: Air layering is another method of propagation that involves creating a wound on the stem of the plant and covering it with soil or a moist medium until roots develop. Once the roots have formed, the new plant can be separated from the parent plant and transplanted into the field.
Land Preparation & Cultivation practices
- Site selection: Choose a site that receives full sunlight and has well-drained soil with a pH range of 5.5 to 7.5. Avoid areas that are prone to waterlogging or have poor drainage.
- Clear the land: Clear the land of any weeds, bushes, or other vegetation that may compete with the chakotra plants for nutrients and water. Remove any rocks or debris from the soil.
- Plow the land: Plow the land to a depth of 30-45 cm to loosen the soil and make it easier for the chakotra roots to penetrate. Use a tractor or a cultivator for large-scale cultivation.
- Soil preparation: Mix well-rotted farmyard manure or compost into the soil to improve its fertility and nutrient content. Add a balanced fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium to ensure healthy plant growth.
- Level the land: Level the land to ensure uniform distribution of water and nutrients. Create furrows or ridges for planting and ensure that they are well-spaced to allow for proper growth and development of the chakotra plants.
- Irrigation: Provide adequate irrigation to the land to ensure that the soil is moist and the chakotra plants receive sufficient water. Avoid overwatering, as this can lead to waterlogging and root rot.
- Mulching: Apply a layer of organic mulch to the soil surface around the chakotra plants to help conserve soil moisture and suppress weed growth.
- Seed selection: Choose healthy and disease-free seeds for planting. Seeds can be obtained from mature and fully ripe chakotra fruits.
- Prepare seedbed: Prepare a seedbed by mixing well-rotted farmyard manure or compost into the soil to improve its fertility and nutrient content. Level the seedbed and create furrows or ridges for planting.
- Plant the seeds: Plant the seeds in the furrows or ridges at a depth of 2-3 cm. Space the seeds at a distance of 15-20 cm from each other.
- Cover the seeds: Cover the seeds with soil and lightly press the soil to ensure good seed-to-soil contact.
- Irrigation: Water the seedbed thoroughly to ensure that the soil is moist and the seeds receive sufficient water for germination.
- Provide shade: Provide shade to the seedbed to protect the seeds from direct sunlight and heat. A simple shade can be created using a net or a cloth.
- Care and maintenance: Once the seeds germinate, thin out the seedlings to allow for proper growth and development of the plants. Provide regular irrigation and apply a balanced fertilizer to ensure healthy plant growth.
- Transplanting: Once the seedlings are 6-8 months old and have grown to a height of 30-40 cm, they can be transplanted to the main field. Transplanting should be done during the early morning or late evening to avoid stress to the plants.
- Legumes: Legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils can be grown as an intercrop with chakotra. Legumes fix nitrogen in the soil, which can benefit the growth of chakotra trees.
- Vegetables: Vegetables such as okra, pumpkin, and cucumber can be grown as an intercrop with chakotra. These vegetables have a short growing period and can be harvested before the chakotra trees mature.
- Spices: Spices such as turmeric, ginger, and garlic can be grown as an intercrop with chakotra. These crops require less space and can be grown between the chakotra trees.
- Flowers: Flowers such as marigold and sunflower can be grown as an intercrop with chakotra. These flowers can attract pollinators, which can benefit the growth of chakotra trees.
- First year: During the first year after planting, chakotra trees require regular fertilization with a balanced fertilizer, containing equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Apply the fertilizer in three equal doses, spread out over the growing season, starting from the beginning of the growing season.
- Second year: During the second year, continue to fertilize the trees with a balanced fertilizer in three equal doses, but increase the amount of fertilizer by 50% compared to the first year.
- Mature trees: Once the trees are mature, they require less frequent fertilization, but larger amounts of fertilizer. Apply a balanced fertilizer once a year, at the beginning of the growing season. The amount of fertilizer required depends on the tree size and yield. A general guideline is to apply 500-600 grams of fertilizer per tree per year.
- Organic fertilizers: Organic fertilizers such as farmyard manure, compost, and vermicompost can also be used for chakotra trees. These fertilizers improve soil fertility, soil structure, and water-holding capacity. Apply the organic fertilizer once a year, at the beginning of the growing season.
Pests & Diseases
|Citrus psylla||Feeding damage on leaves and shoots, reduced yield||Use insecticides such as imidacloprid or thiamethoxam|
|Fruit fly||Fruit rot and premature fruit drop||Use insecticides such as malathion or fipronil, or apply fruit fly traps|
|Scale insects||Yellowing and wilting of leaves, reduced yield||Use insecticides such as neem oil or insecticidal soap, or use horticultural oils|
|Anthracnose||Lesions on fruit, fruit rot, reduced yield||Use fungicides such as copper-based sprays or mancozeb|
|Root rot||Yellowing and wilting of leaves, stunted growth, death of tree||Improve drainage and aeration of soil, avoid over-irrigation, apply fungicides such as metalaxyl or thiophanate-methyl|
|Citrus canker||Lesions on leaves and fruit, defoliation, reduced yield||Remove and destroy infected plant material, use copper-based sprays or antibiotics such as streptomycin|
Training and Pruning
- Training: Young chakotra trees should be trained to develop a strong central leader and well-spaced lateral branches. This can be achieved by selectively pruning and training the tree during the first few years of growth. In general, a well-trained chakotra tree should have an open center with 3-4 main scaffolds or lateral branches that are evenly spaced around the trunk.
- Pruning: Pruning is important for maintaining tree shape, improving light penetration, and promoting fruit production. Chakotra trees should be pruned annually during the dormant season, typically in late winter or early spring. Key pruning practices include:
- Removing dead, diseased, or damaged wood
- Removing crossing or rubbing branches
- Thinning out excessive growth or crowded branches
- Removing low-hanging branches that may interfere with harvesting
- Heading back or tipping shoots to promote lateral growth and branching
- Topping: Chakotra trees may benefit from occasional topping or heading back of the upper branches to encourage lateral growth and reduce tree height. However, excessive topping can lead to excessive vegetative growth and reduced fruit production.
- Timing: It’s important to time pruning and training practices appropriately to avoid interfering with fruit production or exposing the tree to frost damage. In general, pruning should be done during the dormant season, and major training practices should be completed during the first few years of growth.
Profit Per acre : The profit and yield depends on the variety of pomelo or chakotra cultivated. while the kagzi variety can yield upto 150 fruits a year, the coorg pink will only yield 50 fruits a year. also the weight of the fruit and the demand in the local market plays a large factor in profit.
|Expense Item||Cost per Acre (in INR)|
|Fertilizers and Manures||40,000|
|Pesticides and Herbicides||30,000|
- Start-up costs: The initial investment includes the cost of land, trees, labor, irrigation, fertilizers, and other expenses.
- Revenue sources: The main source of revenue is the sale of chakotra fruit. Additional revenue can be generated through the sale of other products such as chakotra juice, jam, and candy.
- Marketing: Identify potential buyers for your chakotra fruit, such as wholesalers, retailers, and exporters. Build a strong brand and reputation for your products to attract more customers.
- Profit and loss analysis: Calculate the costs of production and the expected revenue to determine the profitability of the business. Adjust the business plan as needed to optimize profits.
- Future growth: Consider expanding the business by increasing production capacity, exploring new markets, and offering additional products such as value-added chakotra products.
Chakotra fruit cultivation can be a profitable business in India. With careful planning and management, you can build a successful chakotra fruit farming business.