Avocado (Persea Americana) is one of the most important tropical and sub-tropical fruit in the world. In Nepal, till now, there is not any commercial farming of Avocado. Now farmers are being aware and attracted to the cultivation of Avocados where there are suitable climate and possibility of farming.
Avocados are rich in nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. It contains an exceptional amount of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber which is known as the best solid food for the babies. Along with this, Avocado consists of oil of polysaturated fatty acid. Avocado calories 200 for 100gm, due to the high amount of calories, it is regarded as the best diet for people who want to gain weight.
Some of the health benefits of an Avocado fruit are:
- It is healthy for the heart.
- It is good for vision.
- It helps to regulate the blood sugar level.
- It helps to gain weight.
- It helps to prevent birth defects.
- It helps to lower cholesterol levels.
- It may help in lowering the risk of depression.
- It may help in protecting chronic diseases.
- It may help in fighting against cancer.
Even its leaves have medicinal value that can cure abdominal pain and menstrual problems. The sugar level of this doesn’t increase even though the fruit is mature. Hence, it is edible by diabetes patients.
It is mostly cultivated in the sub-tropical Terai region of Nepal which receives an adequate amount of rainfall. Planting is done when the soil is warm, during the months of March to June. Six to eight hours of sunshine per day is important for the quality development of fruit. The optimum pH range is 6-7. Well-drained, fertile, high water holding capacity is considered for Avocado cultivation.
Spacing is maintained 20ft horizontally & 30-60ft vertically.
Propagation is done by seeds, cuttings, layering, and grafting. Air layering is preferred while cutting is quite difficult. It is mainly propagated by grafting. It is assumed that the grafted plant gives quality fruit. The most commonly used methods are inarching and shield budding.
It is planted in two ways direct seeding and transplanting. The pit dimension of depth 1.5m should be dug at the desired place. The soil doesn’t require high fertilizer for about 1 year. Use 10:10:10 NPK fertilizer twice a year.
Early training is done which limits the heights of the tree and encourages to produce the fruit close to the ground for easy harvesting.
It depends whether it is planted in nursery or direct seeded plant. In nursery, it takes 3-4 years for fruit set and if is direct seeded it takes more longer time period.
Fruit is allowed to develop to full maturity on the tree to get best quality of fruit and is harvested when the fruit resumes full size.
Depending upon varieties of Avocado, a single tree yeilds 50 to 100 pounds.