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Improving access to fruits for improved nutrition through better fruit orchard management

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Improving access to fruits for improved nutrition through better fruit orchard management

  1. 1. Improving access to fruits for improvedImproving access to fruits for improved nutrition through better fruit orchardnutrition through better fruit orchard managementmanagement By Simon Mng’omba 15 April 2015
  2. 2. Presentation overviewPresentation overview • Importance of fruits • Why low fruit production & consumption – southern Africa? • Fruit orchard management based on tree growth • Approaches to scale up IFTs • Approaches to improve avocado productivity • Conclusions
  3. 3. Fruits are good for our health They contain food nutrients • vitamins (A, E & C) • Minerals (Iron, calcium) • Lipids (unsaturated, cholesterol free) • CHO (low sugar levels and sodium free) • Proteins • water high in fibre good for digestion low production cost – perennial Source of income IntroductionIntroduction
  4. 4. There has been low fruit consumption in SA • 70 g per day (recommended 200 g per day) Poor fruit tree management contributes to • alternate bearing/fruiting • seasonal fruiting (abundant during the rainy season) • high pest and disease infestation Farmers harvest a few fruits per tree • good quality fruits are sold for income • undesirable fruits are eaten Fruit production & consumption – southern Africa
  5. 5. Common management practices For homestead/field fruit orchards: (a) No irrigation/fertilizer/manure application • Fruit trees are provided by nature (a) Irrigation/fertilizer application without tree manipulation • Limited knowledge on management based on tree growth
  6. 6. Management based on tree growth Pawpaw, Banana, Pineapple Yield: high, year round & steady What can we do to improve yield? •Improve growing conditions – Irrigation/fertilizer/manure – Pest & disease control •Plant breeding Avocado, mango, Uapaca, peach … What can we do to improve yield? •Balance between improving growing conditions & •tree manipulation – e.g. pruning, vegetative propagation, fruit thinning Yield: low, erratic & mostly seasonal Tree Growth characteristics Continuous Rhythmical
  7. 7. Managing IFTs - Uapaca fruit size and load On-farm orchard •small fruit sizes •high fruit load In the wild •high fruit load: 6000/tree •small fruit size Thin fruits to improve fruit sizeThin fruits to improve fruit size
  8. 8. Scaling up model for IFTsScaling up model for IFTs Some IFTs have long juvenile phase- discourages growers e.g. Uapaca (>15 years for un-grafted plants) •Supply two species with short & long fruiting precocity •Use grafted plants to reduce juvenile phase 0 10 20 30 2008 2009 2010 Time (years) Fruityield(kg) Fig 1a Grafted Uapaca Fig. 1 b Grafted Vangueria Both species planted in 2004 30% 32% 36% 89% 76% 100%
  9. 9. Approaches to improve avocado productivityApproaches to improve avocado productivity 1. Additional pollinators needed Honeybees (beehives needed) 2. Harvest fruits when mature Do not allow avocado fruits to ripe on a tree 3. Grow two types of avocado ‘A’ and ‘B’ cultivars
  10. 10. Conclusions Good fruit orchard management improves • Fruit yield (productivity) • Fruit quality • Fruit availability •Planting more fruit trees is not enough to achieve food and nutrition security. We need better fruit orchard management
  11. 11. THANK YOU!!!

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