indica L) is one of the common fruit trees found grown all over India mostly under rainfed
conditions, particularly in Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya
Pradesh and Orissa. It is also one of the most popular avenue trees which yield useful
fruits and timber besides providing shade. Tamarind is believed to be native of Tropical
Africa but now cultivated throughout South East Asia, Australia, America.
fruit is an important condiment/ adjunct used as an acidic/ flavouring agent in the Indian
cookery. India produces about 2.5 lakh tonnes of Tamarind pulp annually. Pulp powder and
juice concentrates have a export potential in European countries.
Tamarind pulp has an
excellent keeping quality when dried properly in and cured with salt. Pulp is rich in
glucose (47.7% of total sugar); D-manose (24.5%) and D-maltose (20.4%). The sour taste of
the pulp is attributed to Tartaric acid (8-18%) together with malic and citric acids
(2%) . The fruit is good source of phosphorus, calcium and iron. Tender leaves and flowers
are also edible. Tamarind seeds yield a cheap substitute for cereal starch which is in
Climatic Requirement: Tamarind
tree has a acid climatic adaptability and can be grown in humid to dry hot regions. It is
very sensitive to frost. The optimum rainfall requirement is 750-1900mm, but can thrive in
region with low annual rainfall of 500-750mm.
Soil Requirement: It can thrive on
variety of soils, but deep loamy or alluvial soils providing optimum condition for
development of its long tap roots are ideal. It can tolerate slightly saline and alkaline
Tamarind Varieties: There are
very few well recognized tamarind varieties. However, in the recent past few seedling
selections have been identified on the basis of fruit quality and yield. These are:
Prathisthan from Fruit Research station, Aurangabad, Tree No 38 located at college of
Agriculture, Pune, (Maharashtra) A high yielding type PKM- 1 has been developed by
Coimbtore Agril. University (Tamil Nadu)
method of propagation in vogue is by seed. However, being heterozygtes, it does not breed
true to type through seed. The prolonged juvenile phase is also due to predominance of
seed propogation. Seedlings Trees about 15-20 years for economic yields. Vegetatively
propagated plants start yielding after 3-4 years. Vegetative methods such as approach
grafting, air layering and budding have been successful. However, layers are suitable for
planting under dryland conditions for lack of deep growing tap root system. In order to
obtain true to type plants with reduced pre-bearing age, uniform growth and yield
vegetative methods like budding and grafting be used in establishing Tamarind orchards.
Planting: In order to
provide space and proper medium for development of vigourous and deep tap root system
planting should be done in pits of 1 x 1 x 1m size. The pits should be dug during summer
and filled in with 2 kg single superphosphate at the base and with a mixture of well
decomposed Farm yard manure and top soil. About 100g 10 per cent carbanyl powder be mixed
in the soil mixture to avoid the problem of termites. The planting distance may vary from
8 X 8 to 10 X 10m depending on the soil type, closer spacing in shallow soils and wider
spacing in deep soils be adopted Rootstock seedlings be planted in situ during monsoon
(June-July) and budded by patched method using a bud from improved variety.
Interculture operations like weeding, hoeing be carried out regularly. Cover crops like
cowpea, horse gram etc, may be grown during rainy season to control weeds, check soil
erosion and improve soil health.
Inter crops like
drumstick or low growing vegetables can be grown during initial 4-5 years to get early
Care of young
Orchards: Young plants be provided support of bamboo stick and irrigated during dry spell
particularly summer months upto 3-4 years of planting.
In the initial years
,training is very essential to develop the farm work .The plant be trained to modify
leader system. Shoots appearing from root stock and weak and diseased or dried branches be
practices:S Tamarind is a semiforest tree and does not need any special treatment as it is
adapted to a wide range of soil and agro climatic conditions .
is a dry land (rainfed) crop and hence it is normally not irrigated. But young orchards
needs to be irrigated, especially during dry spells and summer months. One year old plants
be given 10 litres water at an interval of 6-8 days during summer which may be doubled
during 2nd and 3rd year. There after irrigation may not be
necessary. However if it is provided growth will be faster and better
requirement of Tamarind have not been studied so far and standardized recommendations are
not available. On an adhoc basis one year old tree should receive 10 kg FYM + 100 g N +
50g P2o5 + 100g K2o and the dose be increased with
age. Thus , a 10 year old tree should receive 50 kg FYM +1 kg N + 500 g P2o5
+ 1 kg K2o. If irrigation is available additional 500 g N be given in the
month of September-October.
There are hardly any pests and diseases on Tamarind plant. So far no serious pests and
diseases have been reported. Nor any systematic studies have been undertaken on this plant
as it grows mostly under semiwild conditions. The plant has developed natural resistance
against this maladies and hence requires hardly any plant protection measures.
Harvesting and yield:S
Seed propagated plants start bearing 7-8 years after planting. While grafted or budded
plants will start fruiting 4-5 years of planting. Fruits are harvested during
January-April months. The yield varies with soil type, climate, propagation method and
management practices. A well managed tree yield 300-500 kg ripe pods.
handling and marketing:S After harvest pods are spread on ground and cut for 6-7 days . The
shell and seeds as well as the fibrous material is removed and the pulp is collected , the
pulp can be stored for a period of 6-12 months after properly drying in the sun. Many a
times trees or entire plantation is auctioned to the traders who manage harvesting as well