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All About Cultivation of Tamarind: Best Varieties, Soil and Climate Requirement, Propagation & Harvesting

Tamarind (Tamarindus indica L) is a widespread fruit tree found across India, mostly in rainfed areas such as Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Orissa.

Sandeep Kr Tiwari
Tamarind fruit is an essential condiment/addition used in Indian cooking as an acidic/flavouring ingredient.
Tamarind fruit is an essential condiment/addition used in Indian cooking as an acidic/flavouring ingredient.

Tamarind (Tamarindus indica L) is a widespread fruit tree found across India, mostly in rainfed areas such as Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Orissa. It is also one of the most popular avenue trees since, in addition to giving shade, it produces important fruits and lumber.

Tamarind is said to have originated in Tropical Africa, although it is currently grown throughout Southeast Asia, Australia, and North America.

Importance of Tamarind

Tamarind fruit is an essential condiment/addition used in Indian cooking as an acidic/flavoring ingredient. Tamarind pulp is produced in India in roughly 2.5 lakh tonnes per year. European countries have a market for pulp powder and juice concentrates.

When properly dried and cured with salt, tamarind pulp has a great keeping quality. Pulp is high in glucose (47.7% of total sugar), D-mannose (24.5%), and D-maltose (24.5%). (20.4 percent). Tartaric acid (8-18%), as well as malic and citric acids (2%), are responsible for the pulp's sour flavor. Phosphorus, calcium, and iron are all abundant in the fruit. It's also possible to eat the tender leaves and blooms. Tamarind seeds can be used as a low-cost alternative for grain starch in the textile industry.

Soil and Climate requirements 

It may grow in a range of soils, although it prefers deep loamy or alluvial soils with optimal conditions for the growth of its long tap roots. It can tolerate slightly alkaline and slightly saline soils. Tamarind trees may thrive in wet to dry hot climates and have an acid climatic tolerance. The ideal rainfall requirement is 750-1900mm, however, it may thrive in areas with just 500-750mm of annual rainfall.

Propagation

The tamarind tree can be propagated by seeds or asexually (i.e., cuttings, layering & grafting). But grafting is the most popular vegetative or asexual propagation process for the tamarind tree.

Intercultural

Weeding and hoeing are examples of intercultural actions that should be done on a regular basis. During the rainy season, cover crops such as cowpea, horse gram, and others can be planted to suppress weeds, prevent soil erosion, and promote soil health.

Intercrops such as drumsticks or low-growing vegetables can be planted in the first 4-5 years to gain a quick return.

Harvesting and Yield

After 7-8 years, seed propagated plants begin to yield fruit. Plants that have been grafted or budded will begin to bear fruit after 4-5 years. Fruits are harvested from January through April. Soil type, climate, propagation technique, and management approach all influence yield. A well-managed tree may produce 300-500 kg of mature pods.

Tamarind Varieties

Some of the most popular varieties include - PKM 1, Urigam, Hasanur,Tumkur Prathisthan, DTS 1, Yogeshwari.

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