The king of fruits’ is one of the commercially important fruit crops of world. It is one of the choicest fruits all over the world mainly due to its pleasant taste and flavor. Pineapple is a good source of vitamin A and B and fairly rich in vitamin C and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron. It is also a source of Bromelain, a digestive enzyme. In addition to being eaten fresh, the fruit can also be canned and processed in different forms. The pineapple (Ananascomosus) is one of the most popular tropical fruits. The origin of the pineapple is the American continent, probably Brazil and Paraguay. It has spread throughout tropical and subtropical regions as a commercial fruit crop.
The important pineapple going countries of the world are the Hawaiian Islands, Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, Ghana, Kenya, Mexico, Taiwan, South Africa, Australia, Puerto Rico and India. The juice has worldwide market. The fruit and juice have good industrial demand also. In the Indo-Pakistan sub-continent, some people have it in rice that makes the dish sweet. Pineapple is used in bakery products like cakes, confectionery, ice-creams, beverages and non-alcoholic ‘punch’. The pineapple is an herbaceous perennial with long sword-like leaves arranged in a spiral around a central stem and a terminal inflorescence. Leaves may or may not bear marginal spines depending upon variety and cultural practices.
Adult pine apple plants may be 3 to 6 feet (0.9-1.8 m) high and wide. The plant thrives in tropical and sub-tropical climate, but it can adapt itself to even moderate climates. So cultivation of pine apple is very suitable for Pakistan land. It can be grown in a variety of soils that are fertile, have free drainage and ample supply of water at fruiting stage. It grows well, both in the plains and also at elevations not exceeding 900 meters height. Pineapple grows in almost any type of soil, provided it is free-draining. Slightly acidic soil with pH range of 5.5 to 6.0 is considered optimum for pineapple cultivation. The soil should be well drained and light in texture. Heavy clay soil is not suitable. It can grow in sandy, alluvial or laterite soil. It tolerates neither very high temperature nor frost.
Pineapple usually attained flowers in month of February and April and the fruits are ready from July to September. Sometimes, off-season flowers appear and they produce fruits in September-December. The congenial humid climate has favored the cultivation of pineapple and the finest quality ‘Mauritius Pineapple’ comes from Kerala. The produce of Kerala is very much in demand as a fresh fruit throughout Pakistan and also in foreign countries because it is considered the best in quality, sweetness and has good flavor.
The fruit is propagated from its seed, crown of the fruit, suckers produced below the fruit. Propagation in rainy season gives better results. Plants produced from suckers fruit in 18 months and from the other methods, it takes about two years to fruit. Vegetative propagation yields two crops in three years. Pineapple is ‘ratooned’ in some countries for a period of five years or so.
At the time of planting, P at the rate of 4 g per plant, in the form of rock phosphate, is applied in the pits taken for planting suckers. N and K are applied in 4 splits starting from 3-5 weeks after planting so as to get 8 g per plant. The usually applied organic manures are poultry manure and cowdung. This material is applied in the pits taken for planting suckers or afterwards. One dose of N and K are applied at 70-80 days after growth regulator application for flower induction. Wherever irrigation facilities are available, irrigation is done at 2-3 weeks interval.
In the situation where irrigation facility is not available, the crop is scheduled to harvest before summer months (before March). Suckers planted during January/February are normally harvested in December/January. Fruits are harvested at 130-135 days after the transplanting. Pine apple cultivation during 1980 in Pakistan met with limited success because of a number of constraints. These included saline soils, brackish water, and a poor understanding of the requirements for nutrition, irrigation, growth and varietal adaptation, pest, disease, weather stress, overall crop management, and cultural practices. Now recent development improves the cultivation of pine apple in different areas of Pakistan so this crop has great potential in export and high market demand in all over world. It should highly recommendations for framer to cultivate the pine apple crop.
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