Amla varieties, production and season in India

  • February 28, 2022
  • abceditor
  • 0

Introduction

Amla is an important minor crop produced in the Indian subcontinent. There are three main Amla varieties in India. The other varieties are developed. The amla production and cultivation in India have increased over the past few years due to its ability to grow in variable soil conditions. Amla has good medicinal value and is highly nutritious. Due to the rise in demand for Amla puree, Amla is currently growing in various regions of the world. Amla prefers a dry climate and tolerates alkalinity and salinity. Apart from India, the trees are naturally grown in SouthEast Asia, South America, and Europe.

Amla varieties in India

There are three main varieties of amla in India. The three sub-varieties are Chaikaya amla, Francis amla and Banarasi amala. Each of these varieties of amla has its own merits and demerits. Considering its limitations, Narendra Dev University of Agriculture and Technology introduced several varieties of amla in India for commercial cultivation namely Krishna, Kanchan, Narendra Aonla -6, Narendra Aonla -7, and Narendra Aonla – 10. 

Chaikaya Amla

During alternate years, the Chaikaya variety of amla is prone to bearing heavy crops. The fruits are often fibrous and smaller in size than other amla fruits. Certain Chakaiya varieties, on the other hand, take on distinct characteristics. For Instance, the Kanchan NA-4 variety bears larger fruits than the Chaikaya variety. NA-4 varieties are more fibrous and used in manufacturing applications rather than culinary applications. NA-6 varieties produce low fibre fruits with a heavy bearing tree. These varieties of amla are best suitable for producing candies and preserves. 

Francis Amla:

Francis is the most preferred amla variety in India for manufacturing value-added products. Francis is a high yielding variety that bears fruits frequently. It has more resilient properties. This variety of amla is used in the manufacturing of pulp and amla extract. This variety is also used in the manufacturing of amla candy, powder and juices. 

Banarasi Amla

Banarasi Amla matures earlier than the other varieties. It blossoms earlier and it bears fruit faster in the landscape. The drawback of the Banarasi amla variety is that it is prone to lose fruit, resulting in a bare canopy. In addition, the shelf life of Banarasi amla is less compared to the other varieties of amla. This variety is not preferred for culinary applications and is mostly preferred for making candies

The Other developed varieties of Amla

                      Variety of Amla         Characteristics
Krishna (NA-5)  It’s a Banarasi seedling selection. The fruits are huge, triangular, and conical, with smooth skin that ranges from yellowish-green to apricot yellow with a red mark on the exposed area. Pinkish green flesh is less fibrous and astringent.

It is a cultivar that matures quickly.

Krishna (NA-4)  This amla variety is a Chakaiya seedling selection. Fruits are medium in size and have good fibre content. It is suitable for the pulp manufacturing industry. It matures in the middle of the season (mid-Nov.-mid Dec.)
Narendra Aonla-6 This is a Chakaiya cultivar selection. Fruits are bright and shiny, medium to large, flattened, and low in fibre content. It matures in the middle of the season (mid-Nov.-mid Dec.)
Narendra Aonla-10  This is a random seedling selection from the Banarasi cultivar. Fruits are appealing, ranging in size from medium to large and having a flattened circular shape. The skin is rough and yellowish-green with a pink tinge. The flesh is a light green colour, and the fibre content is higher. It’s a cultivar with a short maturation period.
Narendra Aonla-7  It is a Francis seedling selection. Fruits range in size from medium to large, having a conical apex. The content of fibre is higher than that of NA-6. It’s a variety that blooms in the middle of the season.

Amla production in India

Uttar Pradesh is the largest producer of Amla in India with a 35% share in production. Uttar Pradesh produced 379 thousand MT of amla in the year 2017-18. Tamil Nadu is the second largest amla producing state in India with a share of 28% followed by Madhya Pradesh with a 14% share respectively. In an area of 95 thousand hectares, India produces about 1075 thousand MT of amla every year. India exports a significant amount of amla and amla puree to countries like Japan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Malaysia, the United States, and Germany. Amla extract has great potential for exports as it is used in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry.

S.no State  Production Share(%)

1

Uttar Pradesh 384.32 35.79

2

Madhya Pradesh 302.18

28.14

3 Tamil Nadu 152.87

14.24

4 Gujarat 81.90 7.63
5 Chattisgarh 43.29 4.03
6 Assam 17.76 1.65
7 Bihar 14.92 1.39
8 Maharashtra 12.25 1.14
9 Jammu and Kashmir  12.10 1.13
10 Rajasthan 11.19 1.04

Rajasthan is one of the largest producers of amla. A significant portion of the economy is dependent on agriculture. According to the National Horticulture Board, Rajasthan produced 995MT of amla out of 13747 MT of total amla production in the world. The peak harvesting season in India starts in mid-September and ends in December. Since amla can be cultivated in waste and drylands, amla production has become a major income producer for farmers in Rajasthan. 

Amla production in India, amla varieties in India
                                                              Amla production in India

Global amla production

India is the largest producer of amla in the world. Gooseberries are predominantly indigenous to some parts of Europe, South East Asia, and Western Asia. North America, Europe, Latin America, Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa are the primary regions in which the global Indian Gooseberry can be divided geographically. The Asia Pacific region has emerged as the most powerful region in the global Indian Gooseberry market.  The United States is the largest importer of Amla followed by China and Germany. Canada is the largest exporter of amla followed by Thailand and Peru. The export value of amla is 3.25B USD and witnessed a growth of 13% compared to the previous year. The import value of amla saw a growth of 10% compared to the last year which has a market value of 3.51B USD.

Amla season in India

Amla is a subtropical crop and prefers a dry climate. The planting season for amla is usually between July- August. The harvesting season of amla is between mid-September and the end of December. No irrigation is required during the winter and rainy seasons. The irrigation is provided in 15-20 days of the summer season. The amla season in India prevails in the same months throughout all the states in India.

Amla season in India

Applications of Amla pulp / Amla

Amla fruit has received worldwide popularity because of its medicinal and nutraceutical properties. The global Indian amla market is divided based on form, application, region type and distribution Channel. The amla powder segment contributes to a 50% market share and is expected to grow rapidly. Based on the application, the market is segmented into pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, dietary supplements, cosmetics and others. 

         Industry        Application
Beverage industry Health drinks, fruit juice, syrup and mocktails.
Pharmaceutical Industry Amla pulp or amla puree is used in the pharmaceutical industry to treat insomnia, anaemia, bronchitis and asthma disorders
Food industry Candy, Pickle, sweets, amla powder, chutneys, and other culinary items.
Dietary supplements Amla is used as a supplementary diet for
Cosmetic Industry Amla puree is used in the cosmetic industry to produce skin and hair care products.