Mangosteen fruits are affected with gamboge which causes a major blow in the fruit sales. Gamboge occurs when the amount of calcium declines on the rind of the fruit. Following this, the bitter-tasting sap on the rind will leak into the flesh and this makes fruit inedible.
Though gamboge does not normally affect fruits in Kerala, the climate change is causing it these days. The fruits that are directly exposed to sunlight experience gamboge. Waterlogging in farms and incessant heavy rain at odd times also can result in this condition.
How to get rid of gamboge
In order to resolve this issue, waterlogging in farms should be avoided and protect the fruits from direct sunlight.
The farmers have to add lime in the plant bed of mangosteen since the blooming season. This will help resolve the deficiency of calcium.
Upto 500-600 grams of lime can be added in the plant bed of each tree. This should be done in four or five phases before blooming.
Add five grams of calcium nitrate in one litre water and mix well. Sprinkle this solution on mangosteen trees to prevent gamboge.
(Prepared by Suresh Muthukulam)