Nzumbula/’Mukwaju’ (Tamarind)

Tamarind cultivation is nearly comparable with mango cultivation. Tamarind is a drought resistant tree, if grafted seedlings are planted can yield within 5years.
You can plant 7m X 7m distance. In this pattern, u can accommodate 204 plants in an hectare (around 80 plants in an acre)

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THE TAMARIND (Tamarindus indica) is a hardy tree well adapted to the semi-arid tropics.
This economically important tree is ideal for farm-forestry in the drought-prone regions. It is popularly referred to as indian dates.
The tamarind tree can serve as an
insurance crop and a “pension crop” for the farmers in the dry belts.
The time for a tamarind tree to reach its first harvest will vary, depending on the method of propagation.
A tree propagated by bud-grafting will come into bearing in 3 to 4 years, whereas trees propagated by seed may take up to 12 years. Practical management and local conditions will also affect the time for trees to bear. A well tended tree, grown from seed, in an open area will come into bearing in about 7years. Regardless of the method of propagation, pod yield should stabilise after 15 years.

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The tree has a pod bearing capacity of 50-60 years, but may yield fruit for over 200 years.
Fruit ripeness and yield Pod skin colour does not change rapidly with maturity and individual fruits mature at different times, so harvesting should be carried out
selectively. Mature fruits should have a brown shell, while immature pods have a green skin.
At maturity, the fruits are filled with a sticky brown to reddish-brown pulp and the seeds become hard and glossy.

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The pod skin becomes brittle as the pulp shrinks and the shell can be broken easily by hand. The ripe pod produces a hollow sound when tapped with the finger.
The yield of a tamarind tree varies
considerably and is dependent on genetic and environmental factors. Pod yield can also be cyclic, with bumper yields in every third year. A young tree may yield 20-30kg of fruit per tree in a year and a full-grown adult tree can yield about 150-200kg of fruit per tree in a year. An average tamarind tree may yield 100kg of fruit per tree in a year.

photos and text
©muoki kioko
2009-2015
email:muokikioko@gmail.com

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