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Crop Cultivation Guidence

Kokam Garcinia indica)


Garcinia indica, popularly known as punampuli in Malayalam or Kokam in Hindi or Murgal in Tamil is a solitary tall tree grown in the coast of tropical South western part of India. Its fruits are round, purplish plum like containing light seeds. Its skin is used in cooking as a souring agent, as it has a sour and rather salty taste. Kokam (Garcinia indica chaisy) is an evergreen tree, native of India mostly found in Western Ghats along the seacoast in Konkan region of Maharashtra state.

The fleshy ripe purplish red fruit possesses sweetish to acidic pulp. Apart from traditional use for preparing "Amsul" or "Kokam Sol" and "Amrit Kokam" squash, it is gaining importance for its taste. The Kokam seeds contain 23-26 per cent fat, which remains solid at room temperature. Hence, it is being used as a substitute for Coca butter. It is also being used in cosmetics. Due to this, demand for kokam both in internal market as well as in export market is increasing. It is, imperative to extend the area under Kokam plantation on a large scale using cultivable waste land in Western Ghats.

Climate and Soil:

Kokam is a Tropical fruit, grows and fruits well in high rainfall areas of the seacoast of about 1000 to 2000mm having warm and humid climate.

Lateritic, alluvial or medium deep well drained soils are suitable. It is mostly grown in hill slopes mixed with other fruit trees like jamun, mango, cashew etc. in Kokan region of Maharashtra.


There are no standard varieties. Kokam is a slow growing plant and exhibits a large variation in sex forms and bearing capacity. The Kokan Krishi Vidyapeeth has spotted a high yielding (35kg seed/ tree) under natural conditions. Such selected trees could be clonally propagated by soft wood grafting.

Planting Season

Pits of 60X60X60cm be dug during summer at 6X6m distance and filled with well decomposed farm yard manure and top soil at a ratio of 1:3 and 1kg superphosphate be added at the bottom of the pit. The planting of sapling be done at the onset of monsoon in June. At the time of planting 100g carbaryl dust (10 per cent) be mixed in each pit to avoid termite attack.


Field be kept weed free by regular weeding and hoeing. Short duration, low growing, inter crops like cowpea, vegetable can be grown during first four five years.

Care of Young Orchards

Young plants be given support of bamboo sticks. Shoots arising from the main stem just before the bud /graft joint be removed regularly. Wherever possible young saplings be irrigated during dry period and summer months for initial 2/3 years.

Special Horticultural Practices

Since it is grown as a rainfed crop no special treatment is required. However, if the orchard is established by planting seedlings about 50 per cent plants will be male which will not bear any fruits. This could be identified 7-8 years after planting when they start flowering. This could be converted by grafting with selected scion stick taken from female (fruit bearing) plants. However, it is necessary to maintain 10 per cent male plants in an orchard for pollination.


Kokam is grown as rainfed fruit crop and irrigation is not given except during summer or dry spells in the initial 2/3 years.

Application of Manures & Fertilizers

One year plant be given 2 kg FYM + 50g nitrogen + 25g phosphorus + 25g potash during August- September. The quantity be increased by 2 kg FYM + 50g nitrogen + 25g each of phosphorus and potash every year. From 10 years onwards each tree be supplied with 20kg FYM + 500g nitrogen and 250g each of phosphorus and potash during August September.

Harvesting and Yield

Seedling trees starts fruiting after 7-8 years while grafted/ budded plants bear fruits after 4-5 years. Flowering starts in October November and continues upto Feb-March. Fruits are ready for harvest during April-May. Red ripe fruits be harvested with the help of ‘Atul’ harvester specially developed for this purpose by Konkan Krishi Vidyapeeth, Dapoli, Most of the existing plantations are by seed. Hence the yield varies from place to place depending upon orchard management practices. On an average individual trees yield 30-50 kg ripe fruits per year.

Post Harvest Handling and Marketing

Kokam fruits are juicy and highly perishable and hence need careful handling and after harvesting. Fruits are collected in bamboo baskets lined with rice straw and stored under shade. Harvested fruits are sorted removing under signed, damaged fruits and graded as per the size and colour into two grades. Mostly fruits are processed into ‘Amsul’ or ‘Amri Kokam’ squash because of poor transportability and highly perishable nature.

Plant Protection

No serious pests/ diseases are reported on Kokam and hence it is normally does not require any plant protection measures.