INDUSTRY PROFILE ON MANGOSTEEN
POTENTIAL IN THE DOMESTIC AND EXPORT MARKET:
There is a high demand of Mangosteen in both domestic and export market. In Europe, it is considered as a health food and one of the best fruits in the tropics. Right now in the Philippines it is considered as one of the needed foods. In Mindanao alone, this fruit is considered as one of the most sought due to its abundance especially in the ARMM region.
Production of Mangosteen in Thailand vary with age; 5 kg/ha per year from 7 to 20 years giving about 10 kg / tree from four to six years; 50 kg/tree after 20 trees. In the Philippines, there are mangosteen trees recorded to yield 200 to 300 kg/tree.
The ideal site for Mangosteen nursery is similar to that of durian. Mangosteen are normally asexually propagated, however, it is necessary to maintain plants in the nursery for two years before field planting.
SOIL AND CLIMATIC REQUIREMENTS OF MANGOSTEEN:
a. Sea level to 600 m above sea level.
b. Slightly light to light heavy- drained soil.
c. Annual and evenly distributed rainfall of 1270 mm or higher, otherwise supplemental irrigation is necessary.
d. Temperature between 20 to 30C; less than 20C retard growth; more than 38C is lethal.
e. Humidity of 80% or higher.
f. High temperature of 35C in open condition may scorch the leaves.
EARLY GROWTH BEHAVIOR OF MANGOSTEEN:
Very slow early growth; one pair of leaves every two months during the first year. It takes two years before they are suitable for field planting.
FIELD MAINTENANCE AND CONTROL OF PESTS AND DISEASES:
COMMON PROBLEMS MET by MANGOSTEEN FARMERS IN THE PHILIPPINES.
OVERCOMING SLOW GROWTH OF MANGOSTEEN:
OVERCOMING HIGH FIELD MORTALITY of MANGOSTEEN DURING ESTABLISHMENT:
OVERCOMING LONG IMMATURITY PERIOD OF MANGOSTEEN:
OVERCOMING SEASONALITY OF PRODUCTION
Ripe fruit of mangosteen eventually drops and if it falss on a layer of mulch it may still be marketable. Growers do not risks leaving the fruit on the tree so long and pick it when the color changes. Top quality is obtained by picking every 2-3 days the fruit which have turned to alight red color. The fruit ripens over a period of 6-12 weeks per crop, and the intervals between harvests are usually too long so that much of the fruit is either immature or over ripe, leading to disappointed consumers.
As pointed out by Pamplona and Garcia (1995), the recommended harvesting index for mangosteen should be followed to produced quality fruits. Harvesting is usually done by priming. Fruits should be harvested only when they have turned into purplish violet or approximately 110-113 days from flower set. The fruits should be hand-picked to avoid falling which can damage the pericarp. With tall trees, a long pole with a hook and a basket can be used to prevent the fruits from falling onto the ground.