Welcome to Directorate of Arecanut and Spices Development
Climate and soil:  
    Kokum flourishes very well up to an elevation of about 800 m from MSL. It requires warm and humid tropical climate. It thrives well in coastal areas receiving over 250 cm of rainfall and temperature of 15 to 35 C (20 to 35 C).It comes up well in lateritic, alluvial soils having depth of 1.2 m and pH of 6.7. Kokum prefers valley situations. The locations where coconut and arecanut can be cultivated are suitable for kokum. Though kokum can be cultivated as a rainfed crop, it cannot be cultivated on hill tops like that of mango or cashewnut. It can be grown as a monocrop or as a mixed crop in established coconut and arecanut plantation.

Varietal Improvement :    
    Two improved kokum varieties namely Konkan Amruta and Konkan Hatis have been released by Dr. B. S. Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli.

Kokum is traditionally propagated by sexual means however recently it is also propagated by the vegetative method like softwood grafting.
A. Sexual Propagation
    Kokum fruit generally contains 4 – 8 seeds. For propagation seeds are collected from fully ripe fruits of early and high yielding kokum tree, having good quality. Seeds are extracted and spread on floor under shade. The seeds are allowed to soak in rains for germination. Pre sowing treatment of seed with wet packing or drying with coal ash is recommended for good germination. The seeds can be sown on raised bed or in polybag. Seed germination is not a hurdle in kokum. The seeds germinate without any treatment. 90 to 100 per cent seed germination is reported in kokum. However, the seed treatments such as soaking in water, cycocel 500 ppm have shown promise. After germination the seedlings are transplanted in polythene bags of 10 X 15 cm size containing potting mixture of soil and FYM in the ratio of 3:1. The initial growth of kokum seedling is very slow. For planting in the field, 12 – 14 month old seedlings are preferred. The experience of farmers suggests that bigger size seedlings suffer less mortality in the field.
B. Vegetative propagation:
     In nature it is observed that, kokum is regenerated through injured roots (Root suckers). Soft wood grafting, Approach grafting / Inarching is also practiced.
Softwood grafting –
    The scion sticks should be selected from high yielding female trees having all desirable characters. The rootstock should be healthy and vigorous. Kokum seedlings of 10 – 12 cm height, 0.25 cm thickness at collar region with green apical softwood are selected.
    The scion shoots should be prepared like a wedge giving about 4 cm slanting cut from both the sides at the lower end. This wedge should be inserted in cleft of rootstock and the joint should be tied tightly with the help of polythene sheet of 250 gauge and 1.5 cm width. October to November and March to August was found to be the best season for softwood grafting in kokum under Konkan conditions

    Kokum can be planted as a monocrop or as a mixed crop in coconut and arecanut plantation and can also be planted in a kitchen garden. Considering the growth habit spacing of 6 X 6 m is recommended for sole plantation of kokum. In an established coconut plantation planted at 7.5 to 8 m spacing, Kokum can be planted in the centre of 2 coconut palms. 300 kokum plants can be accommodated per hectare as a mixed crop in coconut plantation. Planting of kokum as mixed crop has proved to increase the coconut yield by 34 per cent. In an arecanut plantation planted at 2.7 X 2.7 m, kokum can be planted at the alternate centre of four arecanut palm planted. When grafts are used for planting the spacing can be reduced to 5 m. While planting in kitchen garden, kokum should be planted at least 4 to 5 m away from other tall plants.
    A pit of 60 cm3 is prepared before monsoon and filled with a mixture of top soil, 10 kg FYM and 1 kg Single Super Phosphate. When grafts are planted, periodical removal of suckers below graft joint is essential.

Age of planting material: One year old seedling or grafts.

    For Kokum in Konkan region of Maharashtra application of 2 kg FYM, 50 g N, 25 g P2O5 and 25 g K2O is recommended for 1 year old kokum plant. This dose is increased in same proportion every year upto 10 years and there onwards 20 kg FYM, 500 g N, 250 g P2O5 and 250 g K2O is recommended. The fertilizers are applied in the month of August after the heavy rains by ring method.
    Farmers in the Konkan region do not apply inorganic fertilizers to kokum. FYM or available organic manures are used. Most of the kokum plantation are said to be an organic. However, since the plantation is scattered and very small, the certification becomes difficult.

    Weeding as and when required to keep field clean.

    Irrigate once in 5-6 days. It helps for better establishment of garcinia plant. Initially 15 L of water per week in winter and twice a week in summer is advised in Konkan region of Maharashtra. Mulching helps to retain soil moisture. The weed near plant should be removed and used for mulching.

Plant protection:    
    Major diseases and pests are not noticed in Kokum. Sometimes pink disease is noticed on branches. It is advised to remove the diseased portion of a branch and smearing of Bordeaux paste on the wound in kokum. Leaf blight and leaf spot due to fungi are reported.Sootymould, seedling blight ,Die back and thread blight are also reported.

Pest :Leaf miner, : Spray insecticide if necessary

    In kokum, the seedlings start flowering 7 to 8 years of planting whereas flowering in grafts is noticed after 3 to 4 years. Generally kokum plant flowers during December to January. Flowers are borne singly or as fascicular cymes on leaf axils and are tetramerous. Pollination is through wind.

Harvest and Yield:
    The fruits are harvested after about 120 days of fruit set. Kokum fruits are ready for harvesting from the month of April to May. Most of the fruits are harvested in the month of May and June which is the start of rainy season. Generally 6 – 8 pluckings are required in high yielding plants. Post flowering foliar spray of Potassium Nitrate and Monopotassium Phosphate helps to prepone harvesting by about 10 to 34 days.
    In a seedling population 30 – 50 kg yield per plant is obtainedduring the age above 15 years. (30 to 173 kg per tree per year i.e., 9 to 50 t/ha). In a well-managed plantation 100 kg yield per plant is obtained. When kokum is planted as mixed crop in coconut plantation 15 kg yield per plant is obtained. The harvested fruits are exclusively used for processing. Shelf life of fresh fruit is about five days. However, at low temperature it can be stored upto 18 to 20 days.

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