Ber, also known as “Indian plum”, is one of the hardy minor fruit crops and is suitable for cultivation in dry conditions. This fruit is native to India, and in India, it is called poor man’s fruit. In addition, Jujube fruit has excellent health benefits. The commercial cultivation of ber fruit is increasing daily due to its demand, ease of cultivation and low maintenance. This fruit belongs to the “Rhamnaceae” family and the genus of “Ziziphus”. Commercial plantations of plum trees are now being done all over India, and the farmers are also getting good profits.
India’s major Ber fruit-growing states are Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu.
How to Grow the Ber in India
When you prepare the soil, you should be well-known with some core factors, such as which equipment you should use in ber farming. However, tractors play the main role because they have the capacity to mount the attachment. First, however, you can choose the Kartar tractor models that fit your budget. And you can choose any other such as Mahindra 475, Eicher 241 etc. First, however, you can check the Kartar tractor price online.
1. Climate Requirement
Ber fruit is a hardy fruit that grows well in any climatic conditions and up to 1100 metres above sea level. However, this fruit crop requires hot and dry climatic conditions for the best production. The berry fruit crop tolerates high temperatures and aridity through cessation of growth, leaf drop and dormancy.
2. Soil Requirement
The plum tree grows on a wide range of soils from shallow to deep and from gravel and sandy to clay. This tree is very hardy and grows well even in poor soil. It also tolerates alkalinity and slightly soggy conditions.
3. Varieties of Ber Fruit
There are many varieties of jujube fruit grown all over India. Some popular commercial varieties are Umran, Karaka, Sanur-2, Gola, Chihara, Elaichi, Mehrun and Seb. However, Umran is the best in quality among all the varieties.
The plum tree is propagated by seed in earlier days. The main disadvantage of this method is heterozygosity and variability in the progeny of spores. The most common commercial propagation method is patch budding. For budding plantations, ber fruit seeds are preferred to be sown in the main field at a suitable distance. Break off the tough seed layer for quicker germination.
5. Land Preparation, Planting
You should prepare the land ploughing, harrowing, removing weeds and fine levelling. July to August is the ideal season for ber planting in the monsoon. The ideal spacing of 6m x 6m ensures the good growth of plants.
Dig the 60 cm x 60 cm x 60 cm pits, and to prevent termites, about 100 g of 10% Carbaryl or Aldrex dust should be sprinkled on the bottom of the pits. You should fill the pits with 20 kg Farm Yard Manure (FMY) and 1 kg Super Phosphate in the topsoil. You should plant Bud grafts or treated seeds in these pits at the beginning of the monsoon.
6. Weed Control
Be sure to clean up the region around young plum plants by weeding and hoeing. After irrigating the plants or during the rainy season, moving the soil under the tree canopy will result in better air circulation around the roots and help with weed control.
7. Irrigation Requirement
Generally, the cultivation of plum trees is done in rainfed conditions. However, in the case of the irrigated crop, watering should be done based on soil moisture status and weather conditions. Irrigate the field twice a month in the hot long dry season.
Farmers can use the gap locations in plum plantations to get additional revenue. Under irrigated conditions, any vegetable crop can be grown as an intercrop until the plum trees are fully developed (3 to 4 years). You can grow legume crops like moong (mung), cowpea and gram under rainfed conditions.
During the initial 2 – 3 years after planting, you should train the ber plants to develop a strong framework. Once the height of the plant is approximately 1 to 1.5 m, the support is encouraged with a bamboo stick and vertical growth, pinning the terminal growth and allowing the lower buds on the main stem to germinate.
10. Pests and Diseases
The main pests found on Ber plantation are leaf-eating caterpillars, fruit flies, fruit borers, scale insects and thrips. To control these pests, select healthy plants and perform regular intercultural operations in the field apart from applying pesticides. Leaf spot, rust and black spot are the common diseases in Ber farming. To control these diseases, apply Mancozole/Kavach Rovral (2 grams./ litre)/ wettable sulphur.
Generally, the plum tree is ready for harvesting 5 to 6 months after flowering—spray 750 ppm for early fruiting and 2-Chloro-ethyl phosphoric acid. Harvesting time depends on the region of India, October to November in South India, December to March in Gujarat, January to March in Rajasthan and February to April in North India. Under rainfed conditions, the fruit starts to bear fruit in the second year, whereas, after 3 to 4 years, the budding plants are ready for fruiting.
12. Yield from Ber Fruit Cultivation
The yield of the fruit depends on agricultural management practices, variety and climatic conditions. An average yield of 100 to 200 kg per tree can be expected during the prime bearing stage (10 to 20 years). An average yield of 60 to 90 kg can be obtained under rainfed conditions. The plum tree is productive for 25 to 30 years.
After harvesting the fruits, you should do the grading based on size. Discard damaged or overripe fruits. Pre-cooling the fruits after harvesting will increase their shelf life, and these fruits can be packed in sacks and sold in local areas.
Along with the process of ber farming, you should also consider the equipment that will help to boost the yield. Cultivators, Tillers and tractors are crucial factors in ber farming. You can choose the Captain tractor in India and any other tractor brand. However, Captain tractor price is so reasonable according to their features.
For further information about ber farming in India, stay tuned with us.