Fig Cultivation Guide:
Introduction of Fig Cultivation:- Fig is one of the oldest fruit crops grown from centuries and originated in Middle East and western Asia. However, it is being cultivated on commercial scale in most of the countries. Fig fruits can be eaten fresh or dried, and used in jam-making. Most commercial production is in dried or otherwise processed forms. The “Fig” term is derived from Latin word and Fig trees are also grown for ornamental purposes. As Fig plants can tolerate seasonal drought, the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean agro-climatic conditions are suitable for the cultivation of Fig. Turkey tops the production of fig fruits in the world. Figs have an excellent demand in export markets; one can obtain decent profits if they are grown on large scale. The following post explains about the cultivation package practices of common fig or edible fig.
Scientific Name or Botanical Name of Fig:- Ficus carica L.
Genus of Fig:- Ficus.
Family Name of Fig:- Moraceae.
Fig Names in Other Parts of World:- Feige (German), Vijg (Dutch), Injir (Mongolian), Figa (Polish), Berdaha (Somali), Fìogais (Scottish), Anjeer (Hindi, India), Smokva (Bosnian), Viigipuu (Estonian), σύκο (Greek), Fige (Irish), Anjir (Nepali), Figo (Portuguese), 무화과 (Korean), Wúhuāguǒ (Chinese), Higo (Spanish), Fico (Italian), quả vả (Vietnamese), Ichijiku (Japanese), vīģe (Latvian), Smochin (Romanian), අත්තික්කා / Aththikka (Sinhalese), ផ្លែល្វា (Cambodian), Fíkovník (Czech), Incir (Turkish), смоковница (Russian), Figue (French), Fügefa (Hungarian), Figen (Danish), Tin (Malay), Fikon (Swedish), Anjir (Persian), Buhoakor (Taiwanese), Smokva (Macedonian), Anjeer (Urdu), Teen (Arabic), Viikuna (Finnish), Fiken (Norwegian), Smokinja (Bulgarian).
Fig Names in India:- Anjeer (Hindi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Kashmiri), Atti Pazham (Tamil, Malayalam), Anjiira / Rumbad (Konkani), Athi Pallu (Telugu), Anjura / Athi (Kannada), Dumoor / Jajnadumar (Bengali), Anjeer / Umbar / Rumbadi (Marathi), Dimiri (Oriya) and Athi (Tulu).
Types of Figs:- Well, there are 4 different groups are available based on pollination method and gender of the flower.
- Edible Fig or Common Fig: The most popular varieties in this group include; Brown Turkey, Poona, Mission Kadota and Conardia. In this group, individual flowers are going to be long styled pistillate and fruits develop parthenocarpically.
- Capri Fig or Wild Fig : These figs are not edible. However the reason being for growing these as they harbour fig wasp, which is needed for pollination and setting fruits.
- Smyrna Fig: Most important cultivar under this group is ‘calimyrna’. Figs develop only on pollination by male flowers of Capri fig.
- San Pedro Fig: It is an intermediate type where the first crop is Parthenocarpic and second crop requires pollination like Smyrna type.
Top 10 Countries of Fig Production:- The following are top ten production countries of fig fruits.
- United States of America
Health Benefits of Fig:- The following are some of the health benefits of Fig fruits.
- Figs may prevent constipation.
- Figs aids in weight loss management.
- Figs said to be relieve Bronchitis symptoms.
- Figs cure sore throat symptoms.
- Figs are good for skin and hair health.
- Figs are good for bone strength.
- Figs may lower the cholesterol levels.
- Figs prevent heart diseases.
- Figs prevent certain cancers (like colon cancer and breast cancer).
- Figs are good for diabetic patients.
- Figs help in preventing hypertension.
Cultivars (Varieties) of Fig:- There are many cultivars are being grown in many parts of the world. If you are planning for commercial fig cultivation, it is recommended to find out the suitable high yielding variety for your area. Some of the world popular varieties include; Calimyrna, Black Mission, Conadira, Poona, Sultani, Kalamon, White Adriatic, and Saricop.
Climate Requirement for Fig Cultivation:- Fig trees can be grown in arid or semiarid regions. They prefer abundant sunshine and moderate water supply. The best part is these trees can survive in high summer temperatures up to 45°C. However, fruit quality start deteriorating with high temperatures. The optimal temperature range for fig fruit cultivation is above 20°C. Fig fruit quality depends on agro-climatic conditions. These trees prefer dry climate at fruit development stage and maturity.
Soil Requirement for Fig Cultivation:- Fig plants can be grown on wide range of soils and is one of the most salt and drought tolerant trees. However, the best suitable soils for fig cultivation are well-drained, deep and medium to heavy calcareous with soil pH range of 6.5-8/0.
Propagation in Fig Cultivation:- Figs plants may be propagated through several methods. However, propagation using seeds is not the preferred method since vegetative methods exist that is quicker and more reliable. Rooting of hard wood cuttings is the common method of propagation in fig cultivation. Cuttings of about 25 cm in length having 3-6 nodes from the wood of previous season are usually used as planting material. Make sure to use cuttings from the shoot base and crown lower part. Other methods of propagation includes side grafting, patch budding and air layering.
Land Preparation, Planting in Fig Cultivation:- Pits with size of 0.6 meter x 0.6 meter x 0.6 meter should be dug during land preparation for planting the cuttings. Generally, Fig crop is planted in square system at a distance 5 meter x 5 meter which can accommodate about 150-160 plants/acre. It is recommended to plant the fig crop just before rainy season.
Irrigation in Fig Cultivation:- Well, timely irrigation especially at critical stages (planting, flowering and fruit set) is very important in any commercial crop farming. Though Fig trees are drought resistant, it requires flood irrigation an interval of 8-10 days during hot weather or summer. In waster scarcity regions, farmers can adopt for drip irrigation for effective water management. In case of drip system, it requires 15 liters of water per day per plant. Avoid frequent irrigation as it causes fruit split. Remember, do not provide any water during fruit ripening stage otherwise it will result in bland taste of figs.
Manures and Fertilizers in Fig Cultivation:- Applying manures and fertilizers on time result in good fruit set and yield.
|Year of Application||Farm Yard Manure kg/tree/year||Neem Cake (kg/tree/year)||Nitrogen (kg/tree/year)||Phosphorous (kg/tree/year)||Potassium (kg/tree/year)|
|Fifth year On wards..||40||2.00||0.310||0.200|
Intercultural Operations in Fig Cultivation:- In any crop management, intercultural operations play major role for establishing tree framework and give better yield. Make sure the field is weed-free so there won’t be any nutrient and water loss. For better tree shape (frame work), Fig trees should be trained initially to a single stem and allowed to grow to a height of about one meter and then it is topped. Light pruning may be carried out after the monsoon.
Pests and Diseases in Fig Cultivation:- Pest and disease control in Fig plantation is very important for higher yields, quality produce.
- Pests: The common pests found in fig cultivation are; fig flies, leaf defoliators and stem borers.
- Control Measures: Fig flies can be controlled by Demecron (0.05% spray). The stem borer can be controlled by the application of Phorate granules with Kerosene.
- Diseases: The main disease found in fig cultivation is ‘rust’ caused by “Cerotelium fici”.
- Control Measures: This disease can be controlled by It can be controlled by dusting with sulphur.
Note: Your local Horticulture is a good source for finding suitable solutions for controlling pests and diseases in Fig Cultivation.
Harvesting in Fig Cultivation:- The commercial fig fruit picking will start from third year only though they start bearing fruits from second year. Usually, the fruit yield increases as canopy size increases and stabilizes in 7th or 8th year. Pick the fruits manually in 2-3 day interval. Once planted Fig trees can survive up to 30-35 years.
Yield in Fig Cultivation:- Yield of the crop depends on many factors like plant age, irrigation, soil type, climatic conditions and other crop management practices. Generally, Figs will be ready for harvesting from third year. On an average, a yield of 8-25 tonnes/ha or 180-350 fruits/tree can be obtained under ideal management practices. The economic life of the Fig plant is about 30 to 35 years.