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Tuesday, 4th October 2022 || १८ असोज २०७९, मंगलबार

Kiwi fruit farming in Nepal

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२०७८ असोज ९ , शनिबार ११:०९ मा प्रकाशित | १२८८ पटक पढिएको

Kiwi fruit farming is a new farming concept in Nepal. There are some commercial fruit farms recently started in Nepal. Only few farmers know about kiwi fruit but there are lots of possibilities. Kiwi fruit is a native plant of China, known as a Chinese gooseberry too and now commonly known as a kiwi fruit all over the world. Kiwi fruit can be consumed as a fresh fruit, juice, jam, wine, ice-cream etc.

Kiwi fruit can be grown in mountain region of Nepal, it requires 1000 to 2900 meters altitude and proper irrigation system in dry season to grow best quality fruit. Kiwi fruit is a cash generating crop and it’s demand is increasing globally. Kiwi farming can play a key role in improving economic condition of farmers. Organic farm Nepal is growing kiwifruit organically and selling in national and international market. Kiwi fruit contains vitamins C, E and A, including dietary fiber, potassium, phosphorous, magnesium and copper.

Health benefits of kiwi fruits are many. It helps digestion with enzymes, manage blood pressure, protect DNA damage, boosts immunity, weight loss, improves digestive health, helps clean out toxins, helps fight with heart disease, suitable for diabetics, protects against macular degeneration, create alkaline balance, great care for the skin etc. It starts fruiting after 2 years from plantation and gives fruit continuously for 25 years.

It requires well drained sandy loam soil having good water holding capacity. Presently ,genetics resources of kiwi that are being maintained and widely cultivated in Nepal include 5 pistillate varieties they are ; Allison , Hayward ,Monty ,Abbott, Bruno and two staminate varieties machua and tomuri .It is mentioned that all the varieties are available in Nepal are green fleshed or Yellow fleshed. Red fleshed kiwi varieties also has been developed .

Fertilizing kiwi plants is an important part of their care and ensures a bumper crop and delicious kiwi fruit. The best time for manuring is in the winter season, ideally before the end of February.

To properly fertilize kiwi plant, first water the base of the plant at least one to two days before application of fertilizer or manure. Apply the recommended amount (20kg/plant) of farmyard manure around the root zone of the kiwi plants. Mixing it in lightly with the soil underneath will keep it from blowing away and ensure that it can get all the way to the roots.

Manure (compost/farmyard) must be applied around the plants every year in winter (January-February), before the plant starts budding. After application of manure, the plant should be watered adequately. This should be done on the same or the very next day, at the very latest.

Trimming, pruning, mulching and watering are key components of the kiwi plants’ care, while timely manuring encourages better yield and bigger fruit size. Timely manuring of kiwi plants also assures healthy plants with prolific flowers. Using some straw or leaf-litter as a side dress is also recommended.

Commercial kiwi farmers use a tool called a refractometer, which measures the amount of sugar in the fruit to determine the time of a kiwi fruit harvest (about 6.5% or greater). Home gardener may rely on the knowledge of when the kiwi fruit is generally mature enough for kiwi fruit harvest. Kiwi fruit has attained full size, but it’s not mature enough for harvesting until the seeds have turned black and the sugar content has risen. Although fruit will soften off the vine after the sugar content is 4%, the sweet flavor has not developed until the content increases to 6-8%. After kiwi harvesting, the starch is converted to sugar and will then be ready to eat once the fruit contains an astonishing 12-15% sugar.

To store kiwi, chill the fruit as soon as possible after picking and store at a high humidity. The colder the temperature for kiwi storage, the longer the kiwis keep, up to 4-6 months at 31-32°F.

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