Amla is also referred to as Indian gooseberry or Nelli. It is well-known for its medicinal properties. Its fruits are used to make a variety of drugs. Amla-derived medications are used to treat anaemia, sores, diarrhoea, toothache, and fever. In addition, fruits are an excellent source of vitamin C. Amla’s green fruits are also used to make pickles. Amla is used in a variety of products, including shampoo, hair oil, dye, tooth powder, and face creams. It is a branching tree with glabrous branches that grows to an average height of 8-18 m. Flowers are greenish-yellow in colour and come in two varieties: male and female. The pale-yellow fruits measure 1.3-1.6 cm in diameter. In India, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh are central amla-growing states.
Soil for Amla Farming
We can grow amla in a variety of soils due to its hardiness. It grows best in slightly acidic to saline soils, but it can also be grown in calcareous soil. It results best when grown in fertile-loamy soil with a well-drained drainage system. Moreover, it can also withstand moderately alkaline soil. It necessitates a pH range of 6.5-9.5 in the soil. We should avoid cultivation in heavy soils. Powerful machines like New Holland 3600 and others can be helpful to make the soil more perfect.
Banarasi is an early maturing variety that matures between mid-October and mid-November. It has large-sized fruits (48gmin weight) and smooth skin, and the fruits are not preserved. The fibre content of this variety is 1.4 per cent. The average yield per tree is 120 kg.
Krishna: It is also an early maturing variety, maturing between the months of October and November. It has medium to large-sized fruits weighing 44.6gm, smooth skin, and a well-defined stripe. The fibre content of this variety is 1.4 per cent. The average yield per tree is 123 kg.
NA-9 is another early maturing variety, maturing between mid-October and mid-November. It has large-sized fruits (50.3gm) with an oblong shape, and the skin is smooth and thin. The variety has a low fibre content of 0.9 per cent and the highest ascorbic content of 100gm. We can make jams and candies with it.
NA-10 is another early maturing variety, maturing between mid-October and mid-November. It has medium to large-sized fruits weighing 41.5gm, rough skin, and 6 distinct segments. The flesh is whitish-green in colour and contains 1.5 per cent fibre.
Francis: It is a mid-season crop that is harvested from mid-November to mid-December. It has a large fruit that weighs 45.8gm and is greenish-white in colour. The fibre content is moderate, at 1.5 per cent. Because of its drooping branches, the variety is also known as Hathi Jhool.
NA-7: It is a mid-season crop that is harvested from mid-November to mid-December. The fruits are medium to large, weighing 44gm and are greenish-white in colour. This variety has a fibre content of 1.5 per cent.
Kanchan: It is a mid-season crop that is harvested from mid-November to mid-December. The fruits are small, weighing only 30.2gm. However, it has a fibre content of 1.5 per cent and medium ascorbic acid content. Moreover, the average yield per tree is 121 kg.
NA-6: It is a mid-season crop that is harvested from mid-November to mid-December. The fruits are medium in size and weigh 38.8gm. The fibre content is the lowest, at 0.8 per cent, the ascorbic content is moderate, at 100gm, and the phenolic content is low. We can make jams and candies with it.
Chakiya is a late-maturing crop that matures between mid-December and mid-January. The fruits are medium in size, weighing 33.4gm. It has 789mg of ascorbic content per 100g, 3.4 per cent pectin content, and 2% fibre content. It is used to make pickles and to dry shreds.
It was necessary to have well-ploughed and organic soil for the Amla plantation. Ploughland before planting to bring it to a fine tilth. FYM, an organic fertiliser, is mixed into the soil. The nursery beds are then prepared, measuring 2.5cm deep and 15cm x 15cm in size. Moreover, the ploughing operations are good with excellent farming machines like Eicher 242 and others.
Amla cultivation takes place from July to September. Cultivation takes place in Udaipur from January to February. In the months of May and June, sow budded seedlings at a distance of 4.5m x 4.5m. Pits of the 1-metre square are dug and left exposed to the sun for 15-20 days. Then, budded seedlings are being transplanted into the main field.
Weed the field on a regular basis to keep it weed-free. Training and pruning are also carried out. As a result, only 4-5 straight branches are left to grow after the crisscross branches are cut. Mulching is also an effective method of weed control in the soil. Mulching is done from the tree’s base up to 15-10cm of the trunk in the summer.
In the summer, apply irrigation at 15-day intervals, and in the winter, give water through drips at 25-30 litres/day/tree from October to December. It does not need to be rinsed during the monsoon season. We should avoid irrigation during the flowering season.
After about 7-8 years, the plant begins to yield. Harvesting occurs in February when the fruits are green and have the highest ascorbic acid content. The tree is vigorously shaken to harvest. When the fruits reach full maturity, they turn a dull greenish-yellow colour. Mature fruits are used for processing and seed extraction.
Grading is done after harvesting. Fruits are then packaged in bamboo baskets, crates, or wooden boxes. Perfect crop packing and quick transport are required for less crop spoilage. Amla fruits are used to make a variety of products such as amla powder, Churna, Chavanprash, arista, and sweet preserves.
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