Dr. Ganesan Karunakaran is the Principal Scientist and Head In charge , ICAR-Indian Institute of Horticultural Research in Hirehalli, Tumakuru, Karnataka. Presently he is working on jack fruit, dragon fruit, avocado and other exotic fruit crops.
Avocado (Persea americana Miller) is a native fruit tree of Mexico and Central America (tropical America). Avocados are grown on the Western Ghats of India in scattered mainly in Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra. Avocado is planted mainly in coffee- based cropping systems as one of the mixed crops in Kodagu District. The avocado cultivation has gained an overwhelming popularity from the last one decade due to its nutritional properties and high market demand. Now avocado cultivation has been started and entering into commercial scale production in this region and the similar places. The yield potential of 10-12 years old avocado var. Arka Supreme is 350-400 kg per plant. But yield level of avocado at farmers’ fields largely varies from as low as 50 kg to 250 kg per plant due to many factors like cultivar, age, climate, nutrition and other cultural management practices. Among the causes of poor crop yield, inadequate nutrient management is majorly considered apart from climate, cultivar, etc. Therefore water, nutrient and other intercultural requirements of avocado have to be optimized to achieve maximum yield potential. Though information on the above aspects is plenty in abroad but is meager in India.