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Avocado is today one of the expensive luxury fruits in the world thanks to its increasing health benefits that scientific research proves.
Binomially known as Persea Americana, Avocado belongs to the flowering plant family Lauraceae and it is a tree that is native to South Central Mexico.
In India, Avocado is also known as butter fruit.
Avocado is mainly used to flavor foodstuffs. It nourishes and moisturizes human skin and works as natural sunscreen. It can be blended with coconut cream to make whipped cream. It is the best fat replacement in baking. It is also used in ice creams and milk shakes. In some countries, Avocados are served with white rice, mixed with salads, soups and also with chicken and meat.
Avocados are green-skinned with fleshy body which appears in shape of pear, egg or spherical. Avocados mainly ripen after harvesting, and it is a mellow tasting green fruit.
When grown in poor drainage conditions, Avocado can be effected with a soil- borne disease called Phytophthora cinnamomi. Root rot, pale green or yellowish leaves, wilted leaves, branch die-back and small fruits are the main consequences. Avocado leaves, bark, skin and pits are said to be harmful to animals like cats, dogs, cattle, goats, rabbits, rats, guinea pigs and horses, birds and fish. If animals consume the leaves, they can be severely harmed or even killed.
Bacon, Fuerte, Zutano, Pinkerton, Gwen, Lamb Hass, Reed, Hellen are the main varieties of Avocado. Maturity season for Avocado varieties are: Fuerte in November- June season in green colour, Hass in April- October season in black colour, Hellen in June- September season in green colour, Reed July-October season in green colour.
In Peru and South Africa, Avocado is harvested during April-September.
In the northeastern India state of Sikkim, purple variety Avocado fruits are harvested during July and green variety are harvested in September-October. In the southern India state of Tamil Nadu, peak harvest time is July-August.
Perfect weather conditions for avocados are moderately warm temperature with more humidity around 60 to 85 degree Fahrenheit. Avocado growing condition is most limited to cold weather; 20 degree Fahrenheit is the tolerable cold temperature.
Soils with acidic or alkaline pH levels, well-aerated and loose soil are most suited to grow Avocados. Limestone, sandy loam and decomposed granite are the main soil types in which Avocados grow abundantly.
Avocados were introduced to India from Sri Lanka in the early 20th century. Avocado is not a commercial fruit crop in India. Major Avocado producing states in India are Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Maharashtra, Karnataka and northeastern Himalayan state of Sikkim.
Major Avocado producing countries are Mexico, Chile, Indonesia, United States, Dominican Republic, Colombia, Brazil and Peru.
The major Avocado importing countries include USA (biggest Avocado importing country) followed by Netherlands, France, Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, Spain and Germany.
Major Avocado exporting countries are Mexico, Chile, Peru, Netherlands, Spain, Israel and South Africa.
Major Avocado markets in India are Chennai, Kodaikanal, Theni, Salem, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Kollam, Manjeri, Trivandrum, Malappuram in Kerala, Bengaluru and Tumkur in Karnataka, Mumbai in Maharashtra, Ahmedabad in Gujarat and New Delhi.