Introduction of figs (or) Anjeer: – Figs are a delicious fruit like treat and popularly known as “Anjeer” in India. Fig fruit is one of the ancient fruits in the world. The fig fruit is unique, unlike most ‘fruits’ in which the structure is matured ovary tissue, and the figs edible structure is actually a stem tissue. Figs belong to family of Marceau. They grow best in areas where long and hot summers are possible, though they can also be grown in containers. These fruits can be eaten fresh from the tree, preserved, and used in cooking. In India, f
ig fruit is considered to be a minor fruit crop and the commercial farming of common (edible) fig is mostly confined to parts of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
Health Benefits of fig fruit or Anjeer: – Some of the health benefits of Anjeer of Fig are:
• Fig fruit improves digestion.
• Fig fruit is rich in antioxidants.
• Fig fruit helps in preventing hypertension.
• Fig fruit may help in preventing heart disease.
• Figs may help in preventing cancer.
• Fig fruit helps in curing iron-deficiency.
Local Names of Fig in India: – Anjeer (Gujarat, Marathi, Urdu & Punjabi), Athi pallu (Telugu), Atti pasha, (Tamil and Malayalam), Rumor (Bengali), Dmitri (Oriya).
Varieties of Fig: – There are about 21 most popular varieties of fig that are being cultivated in the world. Some popular varieties of fig cultivated in different countries are black mission ‘White Adriatic’ ‘Kalama’ Conidia Sultana. In India ‘Poona’ is the most of the fig fruits grown in Daulatabad, Ganjas, Coimbatore, Mangalore, Bellary, and Luck now and Saharanpur resembles the Poona Fig. In recent days, a variety called ‘Dinar’ an improvement over ‘Daulatebad’ variety for yield and fruit quality is gaining commercial importance.
Types of Fig: – Fig fruits have been grouped into 4 types based on the method of pollination and sex of the fig flower.
• Edible Figs or common Figs: Individual flowers are long styled pistil late and fruits develop part henocarpically. Popualr varieties of figs are-Conardia, Poona, Kadota, Mission & Brown Turkey.
• Wild Figs or Capri Figs: These types are functional staminate flowers and short styled pistil late flowers, Capri figs are not eatable but grown because they harbor fig wasp (Blastophaga psenes) which is required for setting fruits and pollination.
• Smyrna Figs: Fig fruits develop only on Pollination by male flowers of Capri fig through the fig wasp. Most important cultivar is ‘calimyrna’.
• San Pedro Figs: These are
an intermediate fig type where the first crop is Parthenocarpic, while the second crop (main) needs pollination just like Smyrna type.
Climate requirement for fig farming: – Fig being a deciduous and sub tropical fruit tree, it prefers areas having high summer temperatures, plenty of sunshine and moderate irrigation. The fig fruit quality deteriorates beyond 39ᵒ C even though the fig tree survives up to 45ᵒC. Fig tree grows best when the temperature range is between 15ᵒC to 21ᵒC. The shape, size, color of the skin and pulp quality is affected by climate. But quality figs can be obtained in the regions with hot dry climates at the time of development and maturity stage of fig fruit. Low temperature and high humidity conditions result in fruit splitting and low fruit quality of fruit.
Soil requirement for fig farming: – Fig crop is one of the most drought and salt tolerant crop. It can tolerate fairly high levels of chloride salt or sulphate. Soils having ph value of 7 to 8, medium to heavy, well drained, calcareous is suitable for fig fruit cultivation.
Propagation in Fig farming: – Propagated in fig farming is done by cuttings. About 25cm in length cuttings having 3 to 6 nodes from the previous season should be used as planting material.
Plantation in Fig farming: – Usually fig tree should be planted in square system @ spacing of 5 m X 5m accommodating about 150 plants/acre. 0.6 cu.m pits should be dug for planting the fig tree cutting. The best planting season for fig farming is June September.
Manures and Fertilizers in Fig Farming: – The year wise manures and fertilizers application requirement is given below. Dosage is in kg/tree/year. (FYM= Farm Yard Manure).
Year FYM Neem Cake Nitrogen Phosphorous Potassium
1 25 0.50 0.060 0.040 0.040
2 25 0.50 0.120 0.080 0.080
3 25 1.00 0.180 0.120 0.120
4 30 1.50 0.240 0.160 0.160
5th year onwards 35 2.00 0.300 0.200 0.200
Irrigation in Fig Farming: – Fig has property of sustaining hot and drought conditions. For commercial cultivation, irrigating the fig plantation is required. Irrigation @ an interval of 9 to 12 days during summer is mandatory drip water/day/fig plant is recommended.
Training and Pruning in Fig Farming: – Initially, Fig plants should be trained to 1 stem and allowed to grow it to a height of 1 meter and then it should be topped. Light pruning should be carried out in Poona variety cultivation after the rainy season is over, which is in October.
Pests and Diseases in Fig farming: The major pests of fig plantations are leaf defoliators, stem borers, and fig files. The fig fly can be controlled with the application of Deveron (0.05% spray). The stem borer can be controlled by applying Prorate granules with kerosene or Petrol. Main dieses found in fig farming are rust and it can be controlled by spraying with Biloxi or dusting with sculpture or Dothan Z-78 and Dothan M-45.
Growth regulator in Fig farming: – To prevent fruit drop in fig cultivation and promote good shoot growth, regulators “Gibberellic Acid (GA)” at 30 ml/liter of water.
Harvesting of Fig Fruit: – Normally fig tree starts bearing fruits from the 2nd year, commercial harvesting can be done from the 3rd year. The fruit yield increases with increase in canopy size of the tree and stabilizes during 8th year. The life span fig plant is about 30 to 35 years. The harvesting season starts in February to March and is over by May to June. The fig fruits should be harvested in 2 to 3 intervals manually.