Formerly a luxury food for the privileged few, the avocado has become an accepted part of the diet of many people in the developed countries of the West. Rapid urbanization and rising incomes in the developing world make the crop an increasingly valuable source of protein and minerals there also. Together, these two trends provide ample justification for the widespread promotion of avocado cultivation, particularly in tropical developing countries, as well as in Mediterranean countries. This book is designed to meet the needs of those actively engaged in avocado research and development, being aimed especially at farmers and extension staff, who should find it a practical guide to the main aspects of planning and managing an avocado orchard. It is also intended for the use of researchers, students and policy-makers as a reference tool. Processing, marketing and production problems are dealt with in detail, although the authors deliberately eschew an agro-industrial approach, concentrating instead on the needs of the small-scale producer. Major pests and diseases, and other important aspects of production and processing are illustrated throughout.
Part 1 Geography of the avocado: origins; distribution; major producer countries. Part 2 Botany: taxonomy; morphology and floral biology. Part 3 races and cultivars: races; cultivars. Part 4 Selection and breeding: objectives; selection and breeding methods. Part 5 Ecology: climatic requirements, edaphic requirements; quality of irrigation water. Part 6 Multiplication: from seed; vegetative propagation; conclusion. Part 7 Establishing an orchard: general remarks; choice of location; choice of cultivation system; previous land use; levelling; de-stoning; drainage; windbreaks; fencing; soil preparation; choosing rootstocks and cultivars; planting patterns and density; planting operations. Part 8 Management: weed control; pruning; staking; top-grafting and frame-working; fertilizer applications; irrigation. Part 9 Pests and diseases: fungal diseases; viral diseases; insect pests; plant protection. Part 10 Harvesting, package and transport: maturity at harvest; harvesting; packing; transport; yields. Part 11 Direct consumption and processing: pulp composition; oil extraction. Part 12 Costs: production objectives; physical environment; socio-economic environment; costs breakdown. Part 13 Global production and trade: global production; main producer countries; countries exporting to the EU; main EU importing countries; prospects for increased production in developing countries.