Rabi Fruits: Aonla

About Aonla: Aonla or Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis) is regarded as Amritphal. It is a fruit native to the Indian subcontinent. Vitamin ‘C’ is abundant in its fruits. Haemorrhages, diarrhoea, dysentery, anaemia, jaundice, dyspepsia, and cough have all been linked to fruits. It’s well-known for its medicinal value. Its fruits are utilised in the manufacture of a variety of pharmaceuticals. Anemia, sores, diarrhoea, toothache, and fever can all be treated using amla-based medications. Vitamin C is found in abundance in fruits. Amla pickles are made from the green fruits of the plant. Amla is used in a variety of goods, including shampoo, hair oil, colouring, toothpaste, and face treatments. It’s a branching tree with glabrous branches that grows to a height of 8-18 m. Male and female flowers are greenish-yellow in colour.

In terms of area and production of Aonla, India leads the world. As a subtropical crop, aonla prefers a dry subtropical climate. Its cultivation is not ideal for heavy frost. Cultivation is possible in slightly acidic to saline/sodic soil with a pH of 6.5 to 9.5.

Varieties: Kanchan (NA 4), Krishna (NA 5), NA 6, NA 7, and NA 10 are improved varieties.

Procedure and chemicals required: Ploughing, harrowing, levelling, and weed removal are all used to prepare the land. In July and August, Aonla was reproduced by budding or softwood grafting. During July-August or February, grafted or budded plants are planted 4-5 metres apart in a square system of arrangement.

Two months before to planting, 1-1.25 m pits are dug. 3-4 baskets of FYM, 1 kg neem cake, or 500 g bonemeal should be mixed with soil and placed in each trench. In sodic soil, fill the pit with 5-8 kg of gypsum and 20 kg of sand, then offer quick irrigation.One-year-old plants should be given 10 kg of farmyard manure, 100g N, 50g P, and 100g K. This dose was gradually increased over a ten-year period.

In the dry summer, irrigation is done every 15-20 days. During the rainy and winter seasons, no irrigation is required. Irrigation is provided for the first time shortly after manure and fertiliser application (January/February). During the blossoming season, which runs from mid-March to April, irrigation is not given.

The plants have been conditioned to follow a modified central leader system. Early development, two to four branches with a wide crotch angle and opposite directions should be promoted. During the months of March and April, undesirable branches are clipped off. 4-6 branches should be allowed to grow in the following years.

Intercropping with vegetables, flowers, and a few medicinal/ aromatic plants is a good idea; the cost of intercropping per acre is Rs. 10,000. Mulching materials include paddy straw, sugarcane garbage, and farmyard manure.

The physiological disorder necrosis has been seen predominantly in Banarasi and Francis types.

Productivity: A budded/grafted tree bears fruit from the third year after planting, whereas a seeded plant may take 6-8 years to bear fruit. The fruits are manually gathered and sorted according to size. Under normal circumstances, fruits can be preserved for 6-9 days. Aonla trees can produce 1-3 q fruit per tree, yielding 15-20 tonnes per hectare.

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