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Die Bodenkultur - Journal for Land Management, Food and Environment
K. C. Paudel, K. Pieber, R. Klumpp and M. Laimer:
Evaluation of Lapsi tree (Choerospondias axillaris, Roxb.) for fruit production in Nepal
Choerospondias axillaris (Roxb.), a large, deciduous, and dioecious sub tropical fruit tree has been recognised as a potential agroforestry tree for income generation for subsistence farmers in Nepal. The tree, locally called Lapsi, produces fruits with high vitamin C content, which are consumed fresh, pickled and processed for preparing varieties of sweet and sour, tasty food products that are marketed locally and have potentials for exporting. With the objective to domesticate this tree for small holders benefit, the status of indigenous knowledge about cultivation, management and utilization, fruit processing and marketing as well as occurrence and distribution in Nepalwere studied and presented. Based on farmers knowledge, varieties of Lapsi, their sex determination criteria and processing practices are identified and presented. A distribution map of Lapsi in Nepal was prepared from over 450,000 trees already growing in farms and community forests. As first step towards domestication the identification, selection and evaluation of superior mother trees has been initiated and a Breeding Seed Orchard with 52 selected trees has been established to conserve the selected germplasm. Vegetative propagation methods for multiplying selected trees were studied using budding, grafting, hardwood and softwood cutting propagation and tissue culture. Among all techniques studied, chip budding during the first three weeks in February was most successful (up to 90 %), followed by softwood (40 %) and hardwood (7 %) cutting propagation. Axenic cultures were established in vitro using DKV medium supplemented with 1mg/l of BAP and further multiplication of cultures under different culture conditions is currently being studied. Lapsi has been recognised as a potential agroforestry tree for domestication. Key words: Choerospondias axillaris, Lapsi, vegetative propagation, fruit trees, domestication, agroforestry.