RESPONSE AND ACCLIMATIZATION OF INTRODUCED JUJUBE (ZIZIPHUS MAURITIANA) VARIETY FOR THE UPLIFT OF SOCIO-ECONOMIC CONDITIONS AT DESERT AREA OF THARPARKAR, SINDH, PAKISTAN
PARC-Arid Zone Research Institute, Umerkot, Sindh, Pakistan
Keywords:growth and yield, malnutrition, Tharparkar, Ziziphus mauritiana
Current study was carried out for adaptability and response of newly introduced jujube (Ziziphus mauritiana) variety in desert area of district Umerkot, Sindh with poor quality groundwater (>3500 ppm TSS). Aim of the study was to acclimatize this variety under harsh conditions to uplift the socio-economic situation of local population. The study was carried out for five consecutive fruiting seasons viz. flowering and fruiting season 2013-2014 to 2017-2018. The results revealed that during first fruiting season 2014-15, there were only three branches plant-1, 154 to 239 fruits branch-1, 462 to 879 fruits plant-1, 25.5 to 46.7 g fruit weight, 8.4 to 9.2 mm fruit size, 4.1 to 7.7 kg fruit yield plant-1 and 442.8 to 831.6 kg fruit yield acre-1. But from the third year to onwards i.e from 2015 to 2018 a continuous increase was observed for all characters studied like number of branches plant-1 increased from 5 to 8, number of fruits branch-1 increased from 339 to 375, total fruits plant-1 increased from 1695 to 2538, weight of fruit was increased from 58.6 to 107.15 g, size of fruit increased from 9.2 to 9.8 mm, yield plant-1 was increased from 11.0 to 31.45 kg, yield acre-1 was increased from 1188 to 3396 kg and water use efficiency increased from 2.7 to 10.6 kg m3. Considering the above results, it was concluded that Ziziphus fruit yield, weight and size increases from third year to onwards significantly on brackish water and soil of arid areas of Thar. Pruning each year after fruit harvesting was found to be essential. As this plant with stands in harsh climate of Thar desert successfully, so it provides food in the form of fruits, fodder through leaves and wood for fuel and shelter for humans and animals, thus it will be helpful to the people of Thar in terms of malnutrition, food scarcity and climate change, as well.