The custard apple is native to America and belongs to Annonaceae family. It is also cultivated in Peru, Brazil and West Indies. India, South Africa, Philippines are also good grower of custard apple.
Custard apple grown in India
In India the fruit is known as sitaphal and some custard apple growing states in India are Maharashtra, , Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Orrisa, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu The size of custard apple is between 7 to 11 cm (2.8 to 4.6 inch) depending on the cultivar. When ripe the fruit turns brown and yellowish with slightly red highlights. The taste of custard apple is sweet and pleasant.
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Price of 1 custard apple plant
The rate of custard apple plant varies between Rs 40 to Rs 65 and above
Custard apple price per kg
Rs 140 per/kg, Rs 170 per/kg
How long does custard apple take to grow
Custard apple takes 2 to 3 years to bear fruits. The average height of the custard apple tree is around 3 to 4 feet depending on variety.
Custard apple growing states in India
In Australia custard apple trees are grown in Queens land most trees reaches the height of 3 to 3.10 m according to the variety. While talking about India custard apple are grown majorly in these states
- Madhya Pradesh
- Uttar Pradesh
- Andhra Pradesh
- Tamil Nadu
Verities of custard apple
Custard apple variety - While talking about types of custard apple fruit custard apples are divided in two colours yellow skin custard apple and brownish skin colour however, these fruits are green in colour before ripe.
Custard apple hybrid variety
- Mahbub Nagar
- British Guinea
- Arka Sahan
- Custard apple are easy to grow they hardly need maintenance and can be grown in almost any soil. Custard apple is also known as sugar apple. Custard apple yield needs 2 to years to grow mature.
- Here are some sugar apple varieties are explained. Don’t get confused between custard apple and sugar apple because they both are same.
- Large fruit size without tuber
- Fruit quality is good and it contains more pulp
- Native to Mahaboobnagar district Andhra Pradesh
- Greenish white in colour
- Name is red sitaphal but the fruit is purple in colour
- The tree developes stone fruits
- Sitaphal fruit contains more seeds
- Large fruits with greenish white colour
- This fruit contains less seeds and has good quality
- Quality is so good that fruit don’t gets spoiled even after one week of ripening
- Island Gem
- Australian variety custard apple
- Tree bears large size fruits
- Contains less seeds
- The variety develops fruits of irregular shape
- Good in quality and can be stored for a week
- Pulpy and tasty fruits
- Another Australian breed
- These fruits are greenish pink in colour
- Tree produces fewer fruit however, the quality of the fruit is good
- The fruit is not in perfect shape
- Hybrid variety of sitaphal
- It is the mixture of two custard apple species sitaphal and cherimoya.
- The fruit is produced by crossing two fruits sitaphal and cherimoya
- Fruits turn white greenish when ripes
- Contains less seeds
- Five to six meter is the height of the tree
- Good fruit quality
Custard apple common names
Sharifa fruit, sarifa fruit, sitaphal
Custard Apple Farming in India - FAQ
Soil requirements for custard apple
No need to search soil ph for custard apple because custard apple orchard can grow almost in any type of soil. However, the best soil is sandy loam soil for the orchard moreover it can also grow in sandy, clay soil, shallow and deep black soil.
Climate requirement for custard apple
Tropical climate is suggested for custard apple cultivation for better performance. Temperature around 27° to 28 ° F is easily tolerated by the plant. This plant can easily grow in plains and also on elevators between 400 to 4500 feet. The custard apple plant need humid climate between 70 to 80 % for survival therefore south India falls in custard apple growing zone.
Rainfall required for crop
Annual rainfall required for custard apple is around 50 to 80 cm. These plants start bearing the fruits during the monsoon.
Custard apple propagation method
Inarching, budding and grafting are some of the propagation techniques that can be used for propagating the plant. However, seeds are commonly used for propagation of custard plants. In comparison of plants seeds take more time, while propagating by seeds the germination takes nearly 30 days. Propagation by seeds can be improve by soaking the seeds before sowing for 2-3 days in room temperature. The seeds are usually grown in nursery before transplanting in the main farming area.
Land preparation for custard apple
30 days before monsoon is the correct time to prepare the land and perform custard apple plantation. Land should be ploughed twice in good manner and unnecessary weed, tiny stones need to be removed by hands or agriculture tool. You can dig pits with the dimensions of 60 x 60 x 60 cm then fill all the pits with farm yard manure including neem cake. Leave the pits open for 15 days and planting should be done after 15 days remember to perform this exercise before 30 days of monsoon because it will reduce your lots of effort and it will also accelerate the growth of the plants.
Custard apple plant spacing
The spacing of 6 x 4 m is advised due to good results achieved by the crop. However, spacing depends on soil quality, farm area and farmer needs. Some more plant spacing options are 4 x 4 m, 5 x 5 m, 6 x 6 m. Drip irrigation can enhance your crop quality that may result in better fruit bearing.
Manure for custard apple
Manure fertilizer requirements for custard apple plants are given below
- 9 to 10 kg biomeal during planting the orchard.
- Ormichem micronutrient mixture @ 0.250 kg need to provide to your plants during flowering
- 10 : 26 : 26 mixture of the dose should be given during fruit set
- Provide 25 gram nitrogen, 125 g potassium and phosphorous
- After 4.5 to 5 years provide your plant fertilizer with 450 g nitrogen, P2, O3 and k2 O
Custard apple water requirement
Water plays important role in custard apple cultivation therefore plants are planted before monsoon to get sufficient water. However, there are various irrigation methods like drip irrigation, flood or mist sprinkler method but mist sprinkler is recommended to use while custard apple farming because it keeps the temperature low and increases the humidity that is required for high yield custard apple. Good water doesn’t mean to over water your plant moreover, you should be careful and don’t allow standing water at your farm.
Custard apple pests and diseases
Pests in custard apple
Custard apple tree pests - Mealy bugs, fruit boring caterpillars, scale insects, custard apple insects etc are some of the pests found in custard apple cultivation.
Pest control organic way - Neem oil, meenark, organic sprays, herbal sprays etc are used to control these pests. You should also cover your plants with bags or nets especially if flying pests are wondering near your farm or found in neighbor farm. Click here to get the formula of making organic pesticide and fungicide.
Diseases in custard apple
Disease in custard apple – While talking about custard apple diseases there are some common diseases found in the orchard are leaf spot, black stone, anthracnose, custard apple insect disease, custard apple Parkinson disease etc.
Custard apple disease management
One should use disease resistance cultivars to get rid of custard apple diseases. Moreover, some proper farm practices are also necessary like removing infected part of the plant, removing dried stems and regular pruning is also necessary to prevent any infection spreading. If the infection is already spread on the higher level than one can use good quality pesticide and fungicide. However, you should already prepare yourself by making organic pesticides and fungicides but you need to prepare these organic stuff before 40 to 45 days before starting any cultivation because most effective organic pesticides needs at least 40 days to get ready click here to know the formula for preparing organic pesticides and fungicides.
Custard apple harvesting season in India
Harvesting custard apple – Custard apple takes 2 to 3 years to bear fruit so you have to wait for 2-3 years for first harvesting. You should harvest it when fruit colour will turn from green to brownish or other shade. Never pick the green colour fruit. Harvesting time of custard apple is late spring or winter that means you should harvest custard apple from August to November. A mature tree can produce 35 to 45 kg fruits annually.
Custard apple post harvest management
- Temperature required 15° to 20° C
- Humidity required 85 % to 90 %
- Low oxygen and ethylene tension
- Only 10 % CO2 is required
Above given points are useful while post harvest management apart from this one should not store the fruits in cold storage. Picking completely ripened fruits are not good exercise and does not fall under post harvest harvest management of custard apple.
Custard apple cultivation project report
Custard apple cost per acre
Custard apple plantation cost
Price of 1 custard apple plant
varies between Rs 30- Rs 60, Rs 65 and more according to the variety
Lets take average rate of custard apple plant Rs 40
If 500 plants in 1 acre
500 plants x Rs 40 = Rs 20,000 Plant cost
Custard apple cost per acre
Planting material cost
Fertilizer and manure cost
Drip irrigation installation
Plant protection charges
First year cost = Rs 2,18,000
2nd year cost reduce plant material charges and drip irrigation installation cost from total cost
(Plants cost) Rs 20,000 + (Drip irrigation cost) 50,000 = 70,000
Rs 193000 – 70,000 = 123000
2nd year cost Rs 1,23,000
3rd year cost add harvesting charges Rs 1,23,000 + 30,000 (harvesting charge) = Rs 1,53,000
Total cost for 3 years = Rs 2,18,000 + Rs 1,23,000 + Rs 1,53,000 = Rs 4,94,000
Total Cost = Rs 4,94,000
Remember your profit will start after 3 years because custard apple takes at least 3 years to bear good amount of fruits that can be sell into the market.
Now lets calculate profit margin
Custard apple profit per acre
However, one good quality custard apple can produce 35 to 45 kg fruits but that stage will come later, we are calculating initial stage and it might produce between 10 to 20 kg fruits
Lets take 10 kg
10 kg x 500 trees = 5000 kg
Price of 1 kg custard apple varies between Rs 140 per kg, Rs 170 per kg and more accordingly
Lets take Rs 140 per kg
5000 kg x Rs 140 = Rs 700000
Profit = 7 lakh
Net Profit = Profit – Cost
Net Profit = 700000 – 494000 = 206000
Net profit = 206000Note – Profit may vary according to the market, location, manpower. It is advised to do mix cropping or inter cropping in such farming that takes more than 1 or 2 years to generate profit. Inter crop cultivation will reduce your cost burden and it will support you to do experimental farming.
Custard apple planting guide
Custard apple plant price – Price of 1 custard apple plant is around Rs 60 to Rs 65, Rs 40 to Rs 50 per kg
While talking about custard apple plants per acre one can plant 250, 400, 500 or more according to land space and need. However, 400 to 500 plants can produce good results due to sufficient spacing and you can also do mix cropping comfortably. If 500 plants in 1 acre farm then 500 x Rs 40 = Rs 20,000 will be planting cost
Custard apple fertilizer cost
Cost of fertilizer per acre – Custard apple fertilizer cost management is necessary to reduce the burden of extra cost. As we said custard apple orchard does not demand for more care hence not much fertilizer is needed for this sweet fruit. Fertilizer contains farm yard manure and chemical fertilizers. However, you can reduce the cost of farm yard manure or compost by approaching a small village nearby you or you can also approach your milk man or any dairy farm near by your city these are the places from where you can easily get compost in good quantity and minimum amount.
Cost of plant protection
Plant protection is one of the important aspects that is continuously avoided by the farmers. However, they only try to protect their plants by insecticides and diseases. Big farmers are spending between Rs 3000 to Rs 6000 as plant protection charges but it looks difficult for small farmers to spend amount as protection charge. One should spend at least Rs 1000 to 1500 while cultivating on a large scale.
Custard apple health benefits
Custard apple nutritional benefits are more than 100. Some of the health benefits of custard apple are given below :
- Custard apple improves immune system
- This fruit is good for brain health
- Custard apple is good for teeth
- Keep anemia away with custard apple
- Custard apple improves eye sight
- Good for cardiovascular health
- Custard apple fiber reduces the risk of type two diabetes
- Custard apple is good for fetal skin and hair
- Custard apple is excellent source of iron
- Custard apple provides natural antidotes for morning sickness
- The fruit is good for skin infection it naturally heals the skin infection
- Custard apple contains anti aging properties
- Custard apple lowers pigmentation problems
- It is good for pimple prone skin
- Custard apple is natural detoxifying agent
- Custard apple is good for better hair growth