Fig Farming (Anjeer) – Introduction
Figs are one of the very first few fruit crops which have been grown by humans for long. The fig is originally thought to have been derived from the Middle East. From there, it was gradually introduced to other parts of the world. In the Middle East alone, the fig cultivation dates back a thousand years.
Today figs are one of the most delicious foods eaten worldwide. Figs are eaten fresh or dried, based on requirement and demand. Figs are also eaten cooked. Basically, the figs are used as dessert foods. Figs are also used for making alcoholic beverages. Apart from these uses, figs also have numerous health benefits which make it so popular among people. The dried form of sweet figs is a very popular dessert which is popular all over the world. Figs mainly thrive in hot and humid weather. The fig is basically a cluster of flowers. As the outer cover encloses the cluster of flowers inside, the flowers are pollinated by wasps. There are several varieties of figs. Under these varieties, there are several other sub-varieties which are cultivated all over the world.
Read Nutmeg Farming
Scientific Name of Fig: Ficus carica
Top Fig Producing Countries In The World
|Rank||Country||Annual Production of Fresh Figs in Metric Tons|
Common Name Of Fig In Other Languages
|Language||Ways to say fig|
Read Jowar Farming
Different Varieties Of Figs Cultivated Across The World
This variety of fig has a medium to large size. The taste of the fig is rich and fine. This is a very famous fig variety which is popular for its taste. The fruit when unripely is green in color which turns to yellow color when ripe. The flesh of the fruit is pinkish in color.
Black Mission Fig
The black fig is resistant to getting spoiled as it has a small eye. The fruit size is that of a pear. The color of the fruit is dark purplish to black. The flesh is red with a distinct sweet and rich taste. This variety of fig is self-pollinating in nature.
The Celeste fig is the one which is most popular for its taste and flavor. The fruits have a medium size and have a light purplish color. The flesh is amber in color and has a honey-like sweet taste.
The conadria fig is large in size and has a green color. The conadria fig has a white colored flesh with amber colored pulp. The taste of the fig is rich and sweet. The trees produce fruits for long and have a medium height. This variety of fig also does not spoil easily and is resistant to splitting. This is also a self-pollinating
Desert King Fig
The desert king fig is best eaten dried or fresh. The skin of the fig is thin and has a green color. The flesh of the fig is abundant and is strawberry red in color.
The flesh of the Blanche fig is honey sweet in taste. The skin of the fig is yellowish green in color. This fig variety is best eaten fresh or dried. This variety of fig is best known for its high production and is also known to produce a good quantity in regions with short seasons.
The Olympian fig is huge in size and has a purple skin. The color of the flesh varies from red to purple. This variety of fig was originally discovered in Olympia hence the name. The plant of this variety is known to be very hardy in nature.
Cultivation Of Fig
Fig is mainly grown in tropical or subtropical climates. There are many varieties of figs which are cultivated all over the world. The fig plants must be cultivated according to the climatic requirement and other growing conditions.
Soil Conditions For Fig Farming
The fig plants can be cultivated in almost any kind of soil. It is best grown in sandy clay loam soils. The fig plants can tolerate slight lime content in the soil. The ideal ph for growing fig plants is 6.0-8.0. Deep soils having a depth of 1-1.5m is god for the growth of the plants. Soils having a good fertility and good amounts of organic nutrients id best suited for the cultivation of fig plants. The soil must also have a good drainage system and must have a good moisture retention capacity.
Climatic Condition For Fig Farming
The fig is best grown in regions with a tropical or subtropical climate. Basically, regions with a warm and humid climate are better suited for fig cultivation. Regions which are higher than the sea level at 1500-1700m is ideal for fig cultivation. Unlike most of the fruit crops, fig plants prefer a dry climate and low rainfall. The dry climate is especially favorable at the time of flowering and fruit setting. Winter chilling is also required to some extent for the cultivation of figs. The fig crops require plenty of sunshine to thrive. At least eight hours of direct sunlight is needed for the growth of the fig plants and the fruits.
Land Preparation For Fig Farming
Since figs require plenty of sunshine to grow well, therefore, a site must be selected where the plants can get lots of sunshine. The land must be cleaned and cleared of any weeds or rocks and materials from previous cultivation. The soil must be prepared properly and thoroughly so that it achieves a fine texture. The soil has to be ploughed a few times followed by harrowing. Proper drainage channels must be provided in the field.
Propagation Methods For Fig Farming
The propagation of fig can be done by seeds or vegetative methods such as cutting or grafting. Some species can also be propagated by methods such as ground layering, softwood cutting, air layering or tissue culture method. Hardwood cuttings are the most commonly used methods for the propagation of the common fig.
The cutting must be taken during the spring season before the bud emerges in the trees. The hardwood cutting must be taken from the shoots which are at least 2-3 year old. The cuttings are treated with proper treatment chemicals and then grown in the nursery for root development. Usually, the cuttings are grown in the nursery for about 12-15 months before being transplanted into the main field. In case of seed sowing, only the best seeds which are healthy and are free of any disease must be selected for sowing purpose.
Planting Method For Fig Farming
In the main field, pits of appropriate dimension have to be dug out. The seedling or scion must be transplanted when the roots have fully developed. After transplanting, the pits must be filled with soil and well-decomposed farmyard manure. After transplanting, a light irrigation must follow. In case of direct sowing in the main field, the seeds must be sown with regular seed drill equipment and covered with soil.
Irrigation Methods For Fig Farming
The fig plants are usually cultivated as a rainfed crop. It can be cultivated under irrigated conditions too but in that case, proper methods have to be followed. In case of fig cultivation, over irrigation or excess rainfall can cause the fruits to split. Therefore growing the fig plants in areas with moderate rainfall is a prerequisite. In case of irrigation, proper irrigation must be provided so that the minimum conditions are met. During dry weather and summer months, proper irrigation must be provided so that the soil does not remain devoid of moisture. During monsoon, hardly any watering is required.
Nutrition Management For Fig Farming
Compost and manure at the time of land preparation are to be applied in appropriate quantities. Usually, heavy fertilizer application is not required in fig cultivation. The proper amount of macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium is needed. However, nitrogen in larger quantities can negatively affect the growth of the fig plants. Mulching ensures that the fertilizer is properly utilized by the fig crop.
Read Black Pepper Farming
Intercultural Operation For Fig Farming
The weeds must be removed as soon as they start to emerge in the fig crop. Hand weeding can be done or pesticides may be sprayed whichever is convenient. Mulching is an important activity in fig cultivation. Mulching slows down and discourages weed growth and also conserves the moisture in the soil. Based on picking off the fig fruit, pruning must be done. When the plants develop new shoots, they are trained on to trellis which is at least two meters in height.
Reproduction In Fig Plants
The fig is not actually a fruit but an inflorescence. The flower cluster is inside the outer covering. There is a small opening in the fruit structure which a queen wasp can use to access the inside of the flower arrangement. The wasp lays her eggs inside and in the process causes the pollination of the fig flowers which would later develop into fruits. In case of commercial cultivation, the male fig tree is grown at a distance from the female tree. One male tree is required for pollinating about fifty female trees.
Diseases And Pest Management For Fig Farming
Figs are usually not affected by diseases and pests on a large scale. The most common diseases and pests which affect the fig crop are:
- Twig dieback
- Leaf spot
Most of these diseases can be avoided by proper management and nutrition provision. Sometimes overfeeding can also cause some diseases.
Yield For Fig Cultivation
The yield of figs largely depends on the variety which is cultivated. On an average, about 200-400 figs can be expected per tree per year.
The figs must be harvested when they have ripened and the ripe color has spread evenly on the outer coat. The figs must be firm to touch but also soft. The ripening color of the figs is different for different variety. Figs can be collected by hand picking. Delay in the picking of figs may cause fruit splitting which damages the yield and quality. All the figs might not ripen at the same time, therefore, multiple pickings are required to harvest figs.
Post-Harvest Management And Marketing Of Figs
Figs are perishable in nature and cannot be stored for long after harvest. Even after refrigeration, they can only be stored for a couple of days. Whole figs can be frozen to store them for longer. Dried figs can be stored for longer periods of time.
For marketing, the figs must be sorted out and graded to select the best quality figs. They must be packaged properly for selling in the market. The various forms of figs can also be stored accordingly and sold in the market.
Benefits Of Fig
- Eating figs might help to relieve some respiratory issues such as a whooping cough or asthma.
- Having figs for a sore throat gives relief in such conditions. The fig juice is very beneficial in healing minor issues related to the vocal cord also.
- Figs are loaded with calcium. It helps in strengthening of the bones and also prevents bone loss or bone related issues.
- Fig leaves are said to help control the blood sugar level. Therefore, it is something which diabetic patients can benefit from.
Read Green Gram Farming
Fig Farming – Conclusion
Figs are a huge hit in the confectionary industry. With the confectionary industry already booming and set to expand in future, cultivation of figs can never go out of business. Cultivation of figs requires implementation of proper techniques and methods so that the yield is good.