Strawberry (Fragaria vesca) is an important fruit crop of India and its commercial production is possible in temperate and sub-tropical areas of the country. 2. OBJECTIVE
The main objective of this report is to present a bankable one-acre model for high quality commercial cultivation of the crop. 3. 3.1 BACKGROUND Area & Production
Strawberry is cultivated in Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Delhi, Haryana, Punjab and Rajasthan. Sub-tropical areas in Jammu have also the potential to grow the crop under irrigated condition. Estimates of area and production of the crop are not available. 3.2 Economic Importance
Strawberry is rich in Vitamin C and iron. Some varieties viz. Olympus, Hood & Shuksan having high flavour and bright red colour are suitable for ice-cream making. Other varieties like Midway, Midland, Cardinal, Hood, Redchief and Beauty are ideal for processing. 4. 4.1 MARKET ANALYSIS AND STRATEGY Export/Import Trends
India exports strawberry mainly to Austria, Bangladesh, Germany, Jordan & U.S.A. The trend in export of strawberry from India during the period 1999-2000 to 2001-02 is given in Graph 1 and country-wise exports during 2000-02 in Table-1.
Graph-1: Export of Fresh Strawberry during 1999-2000 to 2001-02 140 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02 118
Table-1 : Country-wise export of fresh strawberries from India during 2001-02. Country Quantity (Tonnes)
(Rs. in lakhs)
Austria Bangladesh Germany Jordan U.S.A.
4.82 110.50 0.01 0.25 1.96
6.65 4.88 0.005 0.39 0.81
Analysis and Future Strategy
Strawberry has advantages of easy propogation, early maturity and high yield with 5-9% sugar. To boost its production there is a need to develop infra-structure facilities for transport of produce to primary markets as the fruit is highly perishable. Processing facilities in the major producing states have to be made for value addition. 5. 5.1 PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY Agro-climatic requirements
Strawberry grows well under temperate climate. Some cultivars can be grown in subtropical climate. Daylight period of 12 hrs. or less and moderate temperature are important for flower-bud formation. Each cultivar has a different day length and temperature requirement. Sandy loam to loamy soil with pH 5.7-6.5 is ideal for cultivation. 5.2 Varieties Cultivated
Important strawberry varieties cultivated in India are Chandler, Tioga, Torrey, Selva, Belrubi, Fern and Pajaro. Other varieties include Premier, Red cost, Local Jeolikot, Dilpasand, Bangalore, Florida 90, Katrain Sweet, Pusa Early Dwarf & Blakemore.
The soil is ploughed during summer with a soil turning plough which is followed by repeated ploughing to make soil friable, remove weeds and stubbles. Soil fumigation with a mixture of methyl bromide and chloropicrin helps to increase root system, reduce fertilizer requirement and control the weeds. 5.4 5.4.1 Planting Planting Material
Strawberry is commercially propagated by runner plants. For large scale propagation of virus free plants, tissue culture is widely used. 5.4.2 Planting Season
The ideal time of planting runners or crowns in hilly areas is September-October. If the planting is done too early, plants lack vigour and result in low yield and quality of fruits. If planted very late, runners develop in March and crops are light. Runners are uprooted from nursery, made into bundles and planted in the field. These can be kept in cold storage before transplanting. The soil should be frequently irrigated to reduce water stress in the leaf. Defoliation suppresses the plant growth, delays fruiting and reduces yield & quality. 5.4.3 Spacing
Planting distance varies according to variety & type of land. A spacing of 30 cm. x 60 cm. is usually followed. In the model scheme, a spacing of 30 cm. x 30 cm. with a population of 22,000 plants per acre has...