Hamirpur farmer grows Chiku in his fields

Hamirpur: Chiku, once known as the fruit of the states of Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu has been successfully grown in a remote village of Hamirpur district by a farmer there.
Indian Chiku is known as Sapodilla in English, Zapote in Spanish and Naseberry in West Indies.
Initially, it was grown first in the countries of Mexico , Central America and the Caribbean and brought to India from there and is grown in large quantities in India, Pakistan, Thailand, Malaysia, Cambodia Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Mexico.
Purshottam Chand Sharma of Kotla village in Hamirpur district has set an example by planting a tree of the Chiku outside his house.
He had brought the saplings of the Chikoo about fifteen years ago from Adampur in Punjab about fifteen years ago. However, except one all other plants could not survive and the lone plant has now started wearing fruits and they are similar to those found/sold in the open markets.
Purshottam Chand says that he has planted other fruit as well as ornamental plants in his garden and they give fruits as per their respective seasons.
Entire family of the farmer is happy with the new fruit and shows the people their crop. This is due to the reason that Chikoo is grown in the hot climate but the way it has been grown in this area has surprised all.
Gayatri Devi, the wife of the farmer said that it was a matter of pride for the family that a new variety of fruit had come up in their small garden.
Similarly, Anita Kumari, the daughter in law of the farmer said that she had not seen a Chikoo plant in any part of the state and as such it was a matter of pride for the family that they had grown this one.
It’s worth mentioning here that Sapodilla can grow to more than 30 m (98 ft) tall with an average trunk diameter of 1.5 m (4.9 ft). The average height of cultivated specimens, however, is usually between 9 and 15 m (30 and 49 ft) with a trunk diameter not exceeding 50 cm (20 in).
It is wind-resistant and is rich in a white and a fully ripened fruit has saggy skin and does not release chicle when picked.
The size of fruit varies from 4 to 8 cm in diameter.
Its seeds are hard, glossy, and black, with a hook at one end that can catch in the throat if swallowed.
The fruit has an exceptionally sweet, malty flavor. The unripe fruit is hard to the touch.
The trees can survive only in warm, typically tropical environments, dying easily if the temperature drops below freezing. From germination, the sapodilla tree will usually take anywhere from five to eight years to bear fruit. The sapodilla trees give fruits twice a year though their flowering continues whole of the year, admits a scientist of the Department of Horticulture.