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Arecanut Areca catechu Family: Palmae Economic part - kernel of fruit which is chewed in its tender, ripe or processed form:

Arecanut Areca catechu Family: Palmae Economic part - kernel of fruit which is chewed in its tender, ripe or processed form

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Native of Malayan Archipelago, Philippines and other East Indian Islands. Commercial cultivation is confined in India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. In India - Area – 2 lakh ha & Prodn of 2.2 lakh tonnes. Kerala, Karnataka & Assam - 90 % total area and prodn.

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Prodn. in Arecanut - self sufficiency Uses - other than chewing are negligible . Export prospects - very much limited. Present policy is not to expand the area under arecanut, But intensive cultivation & replanting of the aged and unproductive gardens. Inter and mixed cropping in arecanut gardens


Botany Monoecious palm Fruit is monolocular & one seeded berry Fibrous outer husk, Fruit set 12.0 to 40.0 % Full bloom to maturity 35 to 47 weeks.

Climate & Soil:

Climate & Soil Grow in variety of climatic and soil conditions. Well grown in 1000 m MSL Abundant & well distributed rainfall conditions. Soils - laterite, red loam, alluvial & deep, well drained


Varieties Local varieties: Thirthahalli, Southkanara, Mettupalayam, Mohitnagar

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CPCRI, Regional Station, Vittal has released 4 cultivars Mangala : Introduction from China, Early bearing, Higher fruit set, Higher yield, Semi tall variety.

Varieties :

Varieties 2. Sumangala : A selection from Indonesia , Yield 17.5 kg of nuts/palm at the age of 10 years .

Varieties :

Varieties 4.Sreemangala : A selection from Singapore, yields 16.5 kg/palm at the 10 th year . 5. SAS-1 : Sirsi arecanut selection, Resealed from UAS, Dharwad.

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Variety Growth habit Shape and Size of nut Chali yield (Kg/palm) Recommended    for

Raising of planting materials:

Raising of planting materials Seed nuts – Mother palm is high yielder, early bearer & 50 % of fruit set. Fully ripe nuts, heavier seed nuts within a bunch are alone selected give higher percentage of germination and produce seedlings of better vigour Undersized and malformed nuts must be rejected.


Nursery Sown in nursery bed,( sand) under partial shade with stalk ends pointing upwards. Sand is spread over the nuts to cover them. & watered daily. Germination in 40 days after sowing and the sprouts transferred to the second nursery. Transplanted at a spacing of 30X30 cm with the onset of monsoon.

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Partial shade to the seedlings during summer. Seed nuts can also be sown in polythene bags (25 X 15 cm size ,150 gauge) 12 to 18 months old seedlings will be transplanted to the main field Seedlings of more than 5 leaves ie shorter seedlings with maximum number of leaves are selected


Planting Planting - May- June (onset of monsoon) Adequate protection from exposure to the South Western sun as they are susceptible to sun-scorch. Proper alignment of the palms in the plantation will minimize sun scorching of the stem. Spacing - 2.7m X 2.7m,


Manuring 100: 40: 140 g of NPK + 12 kg green leaf + FYM per plant in two split doses (April - May & Sep- Oct)

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Irrigation and drainage Weeding Cover crops, such as Mimosa invisia, Stylosanthes gracillis and Calapogonium muconoide Inter crops - banana, cocoa, pepper, pineapple, betel vine , elephant foot yam, tapioca, dioscorea, sweet potato, arrow root, ginger, turmeric and guinea grass . Nutmeg and clove can be also grown in between four palms on alternate rows

Harvesting and processing:

Harvesting and processing 1. Dried ripe nuts / Chali / Kottapak: Most popular trade Dried as whole nut known as chali or kottapak Fully ripe, nine months old fruits of yellow to orange red colour is the best suited Ripe fruits dried in e sun for 35 to 40 days For drying and de husking, fruits are cut longitudinally into halves and sun dried for about 10 days The kernels are scooped out and given a final drying.

2. Kalipak:

2. Kalipak Another form of processing Nuts of 6 to 7 months maturity with dark green colour are dehusked  Cut into pieces and boiled with water of dilute extract from previous boiling  A kalli coating is given and dried finally  Kali is the concentrated extract obtained from boiling 3 to 4 batches of Kalipak

3. Scented suparis:

3. Scented suparis Many varieties of scented suparis. Dried arecanuts broken into bits, blended with flavour mixture and packed. Formerly the bits were roasted in ghee or oil, but it fully given up nowadays, owing to development of rancidity. The flavouring of supari varies with region and is a closely guarded secret.

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In South India, scented supari from kalipak and synthetic flavours are added. Now a days, essential oils for easy blending. Rose essence as well as menthol is very common. Coconut gratings are not added now a days to check microbial growth..

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In north and central India - two types 1.made from chali 2.made from kalipak. The former is more popular. At times, saccharin is used for sweetening. Additives like colour and flavour are added. Plastic strips are used for convenient packing. Tin and aluminum pouches are used for bulk packing of scented supari.


Yield More than 10 kg of ripe nuts per palm at the 10 th year is normal yield

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The End

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