Bulgarian Journal of Agricultural Science
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Pilot scale cultivation and production of Vanilla planifolia in the United Arab Emirates
Ramachandran Subramanian, Mohamed Khalifa Bin Thaleth, George Mathew Kutty, Khalil Ur Rahman
Abstract: Vanilla planifolia is cultivated in the tropical climate and primarily grown in Madagascar, Indonesia, China and Mexico. Pilot-scale cultivation of V. planifolia was trialed under greenhouse conditions in the United Arab Emirates. V. planifolia cuttings were obtained from India and it was grown through vegetative propagation. The cuttings of 50 cm long were planted in the soil-compost substrate at 4:1 ratio and irrigated with freshwater (water salinity 263 μS/cm). Every three months plant-based compost was added at a rate of 4 kg m-2. The height of the vanilla plant was maintained at 1.5 m and vines were supported by galvanized pipes covered by ropes. The manual pollination method was carried out upon blooming. Pods were harvested manually when the tip turned light brown. Mature pods were graded, blanched, dried and packaged. 20 kg fresh pods obtained from the ten vanilla plants produced 4 kg processed and dried pods after curing by blanching and drying. V. planifolia production method reported under the controlled environment can be adopted to cultivate vanilla in other parts of UAE and GCC nations.
Keywords: crop diversification; sub-tropical environment; vanilla; vanillin
Date published: 2019-12-19
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