Sunday, February 21, 2016


CIKU (Manikara sapota) or Chiku (in India) or Sawo (in Indonesia) is atropical fruit with an Round or Oval shape. The Oval Fruits of this variety are small to medium in size and oval in shape. The Pulp is coarse grained and less sweet. It is shy bearing cultivar. On other characteristis the Round Ciku normally with the foliage of this variety is like green and fruits are large but the flesh is gritty and of moderate quality. Ciku in Malaysia are planted as mixed crop with other fruit trees such as durian, mangoesteen, banana, papaya and many others. Ciku are less attacked by pest and diseases. Generally from my observation ciku tree remains quite healthy with little or no care. Insects and diseases usually don’t cause sufficient damage to necessitate control measures. The Woody White Fly can sometimes be a problem. The other leaf spot disease caused by a fungus phaeophleospora indica is characterized by numerous, small, pinkish to reddish brown spots with whitish centres. The sooty mould is also a fungal disease developing on the honeydew like excretion by scale insects and mealy bugs. This is a common disease and adversely affects the photosynthetic function of leaves and disfigures the fruit.

Ciku improves in quality after harvesting but immature fruits should not be harvested. The maturity can be judged by several external symptoms as mentioned follows where the fruits at full maturity develop a dull orange or potato colour. A mature fruit when scratched lightly shows a yellow streak instead of a green streak which is a sign of immature condition. Brown scaly material disappears from the fruit surface as fruits approach full maturity. As fruit matures, milky latex content is reduced. The dried spine like stigma at the tip of fruit drops or falls off easily when touched. Ciku tree yields 200 to 450lbs (90 to 180kg). At 30-35 years of age, the tree should produce 2,500 to 3,000 fruits annually. A great deal depends on the cultivar. A 10-year-old ‘oval’ tree gives 1,158 fruits weighing 184lbs (128.8kg), mature fruit will ripen in 9 to 10 days and rots in two weeks at normal summer temperature and relative humidity. Besides poor post-harvest life, soft fruit cannot be shipped in bulk over long distance.  The crates have to be single layer packed for good results. With two crops a year, there is no reason for its availability year around. Packages similar to those for Kiwi, should easily promote its trade to Europe. With refrigerated transport from packing to marketing, it is possible to extend its life from 12 to 20 days. That's are some basic characteristic of ciku from my observation experts. Thanks.

M Anem,
Senior Agronomist,
Kg Cohong, Jasin,
Melaka, Malaysia.

(January 2016)

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