Larger, juicier and seedless; 'Malaysian citric lemon' conquers high range in Kerala
A new variety of lemon known as Malaysian citric lemon has found its place in the high range in Kerala. Idukki Kanjikuzhi native Sasi cultivated Malaysian citric lemon in his land on an experimental basis. His friend suggested the new crop after he faced huge loss due to wild animal attack in the farm.
Sasi brought 100 saplings of Malaysian citric lemon from Bengaluru and started cultivation. More than 60 lemons are harvested from an 18-month old plant. Malaysian citric lemon is larger than ordinary lemon but its qualities are the same. Also, lemons yield during all seasons in the year.
Ten lemons weigh one kilogram. As the Malaysian citric lemon is larger in size and has more juice and stronger aroma, it is preferred by pickle and lotion manufacturing companies. Sasi cultivates lemon in a 4.5-acre plot. He also grows other crops including nutmeg. The agriculture department has selected his farm as a place of training for other farmers.
Places with less shade are suitable for farming Malaysian citric lemon. Though the plant grows well in shady places, it adversely affects yield.
Saplings are planted in one-foot-deep pit dug up at a distance of eight feet. Only cattle manure and chicken manure are used as fertilisers.
Within one year of planting, the plants start bearing fruits. The white coloured flowers are fragrant. An adult tree grows upto a height of nine feet.
As the lemon is seedless, saplings cannot be produced from seed. Sasi is trying to develop saplings from the plant with the help of Mannuthi Agricultural Research Station.