Ardeshir Irani: Growth of Chikoo Plantaions In India: by Eduljee 


Ardeshir Iran’s $1 Billion per Annum Legacy to India?Growth of Chikoo Plantations in India
Ardeshir Irani likely never imagined that his pioneering work would be copied all over India. Now, while chikoo plantations can now be found from one corner of India to the next, scant credit is given to the pioneer. We hope these posts will rectify that oversight.
Ardeshir Irani’s legacy in figures:

– If we have been able to cobble together the scattered data correctly, India’s 2013 chikoo yield was worth roughly US$ 108 million to the farmer and US$ 1.7 billion to India’s market economy at a retail price average of Rs 79/kg (smart.in) or about US$ 1264/metric tonne. This is one measure of Ardeshir Irani’s legacy. These figures do not include any production in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar and the rest of SE Asia where the production may have spread. We daresay, all told, the current monetary value of Ardeshir Irani’s legacy well exceeds $ 2 billion.
Other stats:

– India’s chikoo orchards covered about 160,000 hectares producing 1.35 million metric tonnes of fruit (8.43 t/ha) [2013 National Horticulture Board report].

– Karnataka was then India’s largest grower of chikoos, with 30,000 hectares producing 353,000 metric tons of fruit (11.7 t/ha). [On average, a single 25-year-old chikoo tree produces 100 to 250 kg of fruit annually.]

– Between 2002 and 2013, India’s chikoo cultivation increased three fold. 

– In 2014-15, chikoo production in Gujarat’s Navsari District increased by 25%, with 7,660 hectares yielding 97,000 metric tonnes (12.8 t/ha) [Feb. 2017, Times of India (TOI)].

– In 2015, farmers received Rs 60 to Rs 150 per 20 kg, say, a paltry Rs 5/kg or about US$ 80/tonne [May 2015, TOI].
[Sources: Times of India, Nat. Horticulture Board, Maps of India, YourArticleLibrary, Smart India, Zauba import export data and others.]
Images:

1. Map of India’s 2014 chikoo production. Image credit: mapsofindia.com.

2. Hyderabad, Pakistan chikoo vendor. Image credit: Ass. Press of Pakistan. Ardeshir Irani’s legacy extends beyond the borders of today’s India.

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