Tamarind seeds


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Foreword

Tamarind is a multipurpose tree species widely distributed and extensively planted in India. Every part of this tree is useful in one way or the other, however the most useful is the fruit, very widely used in several culinary preparations. The fruits and the leaves also have medicinal properties.

This brochure is intended to provide in a simple language, information on morphology, phenology, seed characteristics, nursery techniques, propagation, cultural practices, pests and diseases etc., pertaining to species as useful for the cultivation of the species.

Financial assistance from the Ford Foundation for printing this brochure is gratefully acknowledged.

1. Introduction

Tamarind (Tamarindus Indica) is one of the most extensively planted and highly valued tree in India and it is intimately associated with the common man. It is indigenous to tropical Africa and probably to south India. It is cultivated throughout tropics and sub-tropics and has become naturalized in many places. In India, Tamarind is being cultivated almost throughout the country except in the Himalayan and Western Dry Regions. It is the commonest tree planted along the roadsides.

2. MORPHOLOGY AND PHENOLOGY

Tamarind is a moderate-sized to large, evergreen tree, upto 24m in height and 7m in girth. It is cultivated or found naturalized almost throughout the plains and sub-Himalayan tracts of India, particularly in the South. It’s bark is brownish or dark grey, longitudinally and horizontally fissured. Leaves are paripinnate, upto 15cm long; longitudinally and horizontally fissured. Leaves are paripinate, upto 15cm long; leaflets generally 10-20 pairs, sub-sessile, oblong, 8-30 x 5-10mm. Flowers are borne in small terminal drooping racemes on the current season’s growth. The flowers are irregular, zygomorphic with two reddish boat-shaped, deciduous bracteoles; sepals 4, reflexed, ovate, cream-coloured; petals 3, un-equal, borne on top of thalamus, obovate, pale yellow, streaked with red. Androceium consists of 3 fertile stamens alternating with staminodes; filaments connate below into a sheath open on the upper side; anthers transverse, reddish brown, dehiscing longitudinally. Gynoecium consists of a half-inferior ovary; pistil is obliquely curving updwards, green, sparsely hairy and longer than stamens; stigma is small and clavate; ovary half-inferior, stalked with 8-15 ovules. Pods are 7.5-20cm long c. 2.5cm broad and 1cm thick, more or less constricted between the seeds, slightly curved, brownish-ash coloured, scurfy. These are 3-12 seeds in each pod, which are obovate-oblong, compressed, with a shallow, oblong pit on each side of the flat faces, c. 15 x 0.8cm, smooth, dark bron, shining. The seeds are contained in loculi, eneveloped by a tough, leathery membrane, the so-called endocarp. Outside the endocarp is the light-brownish, red, sweetish acidic, edible pulp, traversed by a number of branched, ligneous strands. The outermost covering the pod is fragile and easily separable.

The genus Tamarindus is a monotypic genus and belongs to the sub-family Caesalpinioideae of the family Leguminosae (Fabaceae). The chromosome number of the species (2n) is 24.

The tree has usually a short and thick trunk, which is seldom straight. If grown in a shady environment, the height of the trunk may increase for want of light. It has a handsome, dense and spreading crown of feathery foliage and is an ornamental tree planted along the roadside for shade and fruits.

3. REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Tamarind trees flower from April to July in most areas of South India. Peak flowering occurs during May-June. It is reported that new leaves appear in May and are closely followed by the flowers and occasionally fresh leaves and flowers are seen in September in Calcutta and its neighbourhood. Fruits mature during winter season in South India.

Time and duration of anthesis varies with prevailing weather conditions in different locations. Flower opening begins as early as 5.30a.m. and continues upto 8.30a.m. with peak anthesis at 6.30a.m. in Bangalore. Mature anthers reddish brown in colour, dehisce by longitudinal splitting of their lobes between 10.00 to 11.30a.m. Pollen are round with average diameter of 1.5mu. The percentage of fertile pollen is 96.54. Maximum pollen germination of 66.7 per cent and pollen tube length of 7582 µ were observed in 8 per cent sucrose solution containing 1 per cent agar. Stigma is receptive from one day before anthesis to two days after anthesis.

Tamarind is predominantly cross pollinated. Pollination is through the agents of insects. Red ant (Oecophylla smaragdina Fab) plays an important role in bringing about pollination in Tamarind. The fruit set and retention was high in cross pollinated flowers compared to self and open pollinated ones. The abscission of flowers was high in self and open pollinated flowers due to partial self-incompatibility. The poor deposition of pollen grains on the stigma in open pollination limits fruit set and there is a positive correlation between pollen number and the number of fertilized ovules per fruit. High degree of defoliation was found to significantly decrease fruit set.

3.1. VARIATION IN FRUIT CHARACTERISITICS

Tamarind being predominantly cross pollinated, trees of seed origin are found to exhibit high amounts of heterozygosity and therefore variation in flower and fruit characteristics.

Based on the fruit shape, Tamarind can be classified into 4 categories.

Fruits straight and bulged

Fruits straight and flattened

Fruits curved and bulged

Fruits curved and flattened

It was observed that the fruit to pulp ratio was highest in curved and bulged type (49.36) and least in the fruits of straight and flattened type (40.24). Highest value of seed to pulp ratio was recorded in fruits of straight and bulged type (78.20) and least in curved and bulged types (45.95). Maximum fruit to seed ratio was observed in fruits of straight and bulged type (33.25) and least was recorded in fruits of curved and bulged type (25.42). The length of the fruit was positively correlated with fruit weight, weight of pulp, weight of seeds and number of seed. The fruit thickness was negatively correlated with fibre weight, seed weight and seed number in most of the cases.

4. SEED HANDLING

The seeds of tamarind are obovate-oblong, compressed, with a shallow, oblong pit on each side of the flat faces, 1.5 x 0.8cm, smooth, dark brown and shining. The tree begins to bear fruit at the age of 13-14 years and continues to yield abundant fruit crops for more than 60 years.

4.1 SEED COLLECTION AND EXTRACTION

The tree begins to produce small yellow and red variegated flowers from April to June (also in October). The yellowish flowers with pink stripes are found in lax, few flowered racemes at the ends of branchlets. The pods begin to ripen from February to April. They are 7.5 – 20cm long, 2.5cm broad and 10cm thick, with a brittle epicarp filled with dark brown fibrous acid pulp containing 3-12 seeds. The pods are slightly curved, brownish – ash coloured, scurfy and more or less constricted between the seeds.

A good full grown tree yields 180-225 kg of fruit per season. On an average, the pod is composed of 55 percent pulp, 34 percent and seed and 11 percent of hsell and fibre. The pods should be allowed to ripen on the tree until the outer shell is dry and can be separated from the pulp without adherence. They are harvested by nearly shaking the branches and should not be beaten down with sticks, since this process materially injures the blossoms and the buds of future leaves. The pods that are left on the tree are gradually blown off later and are picked up.

Effect of method of seed/fruit collection on seed viability and vigour, by collecting the seeds from both the floor as well as the crown has been studied.

Method of seed collection

% germination

Root Length

Shoot Length

Vigour Index

Crown

65

15.9cm

24.3cm

2786

Ground

50

12.4cm

20.9cm

1733

(The Vigour Index was calculated as the product of germination percentage and seedling length).

From the above, it is clear that crown collection is superior to ground collection. This may be due to the occurrence of immature, empty or unsound seeds in natural fruit shedding or seed deterioration associated with it.

Extraction : The fruits are dried in the sun; the outer shell is removed by hand, or by beating with a mallet; the seed is separated from the pulp by hand kneading and washing in water. Washed seeds are dried in shade and stored in gunny bags in a dry cool place.

4.2. SEED GERMINATION

The seeds of Tamarindus Indica are exalbuminous and consists of an outer hared brown testa. The seeds are normally sown directly in the sand medium and germination commences in 5-10 days. The germination is epigeous. The radical emerges from one end of the seed and descends rapidly. The hypocotyle elongates. Arching slightly and raises above ground, with the cotyledons enclosed in the testa. The latter falls to the ground when the cotyledons expand. The young plant grows best in a porous soil and if sheltered from the sun in the early stages; it is very sensitive to frost.

Generally no pretreatment is necessary for germinating the seeds. But it has also been reported that the acid scarified seeds perform better in germination than the non-scarified seeds. They studied the effect of duration of acid scarification on seed viability and vigour by soaking the seeds in Conc. Sulphuric acid for two time durations of 5 and 10 minutes. Non-scarified seeds served as control.

Duration of Scarification

% germination

Root Length

Shoot Length

Vigour Index

Control

39

12.5cm

17.1cm

959

5 min.

59

14.1cm

24.4cm

2560

10 min.

96

15.9cm

26.4cm

4448

From the above data it is clear that the acid scarified seeds perform better than the untreated seeds and scarification for longer duration of 10min. gave higher germination than half that duration.

There occur 6 different types of abnormal seedlings of observed during a germination study. The ratio of normal to abnormal seedlings in different seed sources observed are as follows:

Seed Source

Germination percent

No. of abnormal seedlings

No. of normal seedlings

Forest Campus, Coimbatore

64

15

49

Himayatnagar, Hyderabad

85

25

60

Narayanguda, Hyderabad

87

20

67

Marredpally, Secunderabad

65

34

31

In normal seedlings the germination is epigeal. The cotyledons are borne above the germination medium on a long hypocotyle. Root system is normally much branched with two or three main branches and several side rootlets. Cotyledons are two in number and open out horizontally. Plumule developing into the primary stem bear a pair of pinnate leaves at each node. Arrangement of leaf is opposite (Fig 1). The abnormal seedlings are illustrated in Fig. a to f and description are as follows:

Cotyledons two in number arranged at two different levels, one horizontal and borne on a stalk, the other vertical. Primary stem and leaves normal. Root system normal.

Hypocotyle ribbed, cotyledon only one in number. Epicotyle slender; leaves distorted. Root consisting of only one tap root and no side rootlets.

Hypocotyle twisted. Cotyledons abnormally large, only half open and horizontal in position. Primary leaves fanning out of the cotyledons. Root system only partly developed with few rootlets.

Hypocotyle long and straight. Cotyledons two in number, vertical in position; only partly open with primary leaves fanning out of the cotyledons.

Cotyledons three in number arranged at different levels of the hypocotyle and borne on short stems. Leaves normal. Root system divided into two taproots and no rootlets.

Seedling normal in all respects except that instead of two leaves developing at each-node, three leaves are developed and arranged in a whorl.

4.3 NURSERY PRACTICE

Fresh seeds are sown in nursery beds in March-April; germination starts within a week and is complete within a month. Seedlings attain plantable size of 30cm and above, within 3-4 months they are planted out during the monsoon rains. If the height growth is poor, seedlings are kept in the nursery for another year and planted out in the following monsoon. However planting in the second rains is more difficult, as the tap root tends to grow very deep and plants require pruning of roots and shoots and careful handling in transit. Transplanting the pot raised seedlings in 1 cu m pits at a spacing of 3m x 3m has also been successful.

4.4 SEED STORAGE

Seeds can be stored well for 1 year, but the seeds are subjected to insect attack; hence it should be well dried and protected from the insect attacks. The storage trials carried out at Jabalpur are furnished below:

Place of collection

Method of Storage

Age of seed at time of testing

Germination Capacity

Jabalpur

Polythene bag

Fresh

85%

One year

45%

Jabalpur

Polythene bag

Fresh

78%

One year

44%

Studies carried out by the Genetics Division of the Tamil Nadu Forest Department, Coimbatore on seeds of Tamarindus Indica is presented.

Time taken for initial germination – 7days

Germinative Capacity – 60%

Time taken for germinative capacity – 25 days

Germinative Energy – 45%

Purity percent – 100%

Mositure percent – 10%

Plant percent – 50%

Number of seeds per Kg. – 1300

Number of seedlings per Kg. – 650

Viability – 1 year

Pretreatment – Not required

5. VEGETATIVE PROPAGATION

Tamarind is almost propagated by seeds. To reduce the heterogeneity in the population, vegetative propagation methods like rooting of cuttings and bud grafting can be followed to get true-to-type planting materials.

5.1. MACRO-PROPAGATION

5.1.1. Grafting : Various techniques of vegetative propagation have been tried for Tamarind with varying degrees of success. The most commonly used technique is approach grafting. In this method, an year old root stock plant raised in a polybag or a pot is carried next to an identified plus tree and a healthy and vigorous growing branch of this tree is grafted to the root stock plant matching in diameter. The percentage of success using approach grafting is 74%, compared to only 25 percent success using ordinary grafting.

5.1.2. Cuttings : The method for rooting of terminal cuttings is standardized. In this method, the terminal cuttings of the tree were prepared from current year shoots which are soft. The cuttings with their new flush of leaves are collected early in the morning when they are fully turgid. The cuttings were then made into two batches, one batch treated with 1000 ppm indol-butyric acid (IBA) in 50 percent isopropyl alcohol as quick dip, another without any treatment (Control). The cuttings were transferred to poly propylene tubes having root trainers, filled with horticultural grade vermiculite, perlite mixture in 1:1 ratio. The tubes with cuttings were placed in mist chamber and subjected to intermittent misting. Care was taken to maintain 70 percent to 80 percent humidity.

IBA at 1000 ppm concentration accelerated the rooting in terminal cuttings of Tamarindus Indica. (Table 1) Rooting occurred early in IBA treated cuttings compared to control. Similarly there is also marked increase in percentage of rooting over that of control in cuttings treated with IBA. Rooting response of terminal cuttings in control was attributed to higher concentrations of endogenous root promoting growth regulators like auxins. The superiority of terminal cuttings over middle or basal cuttings is also reported. The rooting of terminal cuttings has an added advantage as it has only one cut end and thus reduces the possibility of infection by disease causing organisms, during or after rooting phase. The results reported are in complete contrast to the normal behavioral response that in many tree species, cuttings taken from lower part of the crown respond better to rooting compared to that taken from terminal portions.

Table 1 : Percentage of Rooting in Tamarindus Indica (Srivasuki et al, 1990)

Treatment

No. of cuttings treated

No. of cuttings rooted

Percentage of rooting

No. of days taken for rooting

Control

108

27

25

40-50

IBA (1000 ppm)

108

102

94

0-15

5.1.3 Gootee or Air layering : Propagation by means of “gootee” is also followed. “Goo-tee” is another term used for air layering. In this method, roots form as the actuarial part of the plant where the stem has been girdled or slit at an upward angle. The injured portion is enclosed at the point of injury with a rooting medium which is maintained continuously moist. By using IBA 4000ppm as rooting hormone, 37% of rooting was achieved.

The percentage of rooting was high when the concentration of harmone (IBA, IBA + NAA) was 7500ppm. Girdling and etiolation of shoots a month before air-layering results in greater accumulation of reducing sugars, non-reducing sugar, total sugars, soluble nitrogen and total nitrogen but there is reduction of starch content.

5.2 MICRO-PROPAGATION

Apart from the above mentioned methods, micropropagation techniques can also be followed for large scale production of Tamarind. Because the conventional methods of propagation like seedling cuttings, grafting etc. , have many limitations such as inadequate availability of planting material.

The tree is sensitive to frost and requires protection when young. It is slow growing and late to reach bearing age. Commonly, it gains about 0.5 to 0.8m in height per year and takes 10-12 years to mature and yield fruit.

Seed-borne progeny undoubtedly show considerable variation in the size and quality of their fruit. This accounts for the different varieties which have been noted by many workers. None of the vegetative methods of propagation (gootee, grafting, etc.,) have been totally successful, because of the factors like graft incompatibility, differences in growth rate of scion and stock resulting in abnormal growth-pattern and low percent of success in gootee.

There is no collection of germ plasm from the various regions that stretch from Senegal across sub-Sahelian Africa to the Sudan, Collections of Indian tamarind types are not available. There are interesting genetic types in Thailand and elsewhere in Southern Asia which need to be preserved.

Use of micro-propagation methods, can circumvent some of the above problems to achieve quicker means of propagation.

The micro-propagation work on tamarind was carried out by National Chemical Laboratory, Pune. The tissue culture protocol developed. It is given below:

Culture Media : The two basal media used where White’s (W) and Murashige and Skoog’s (MS). The following growth regulators and vitamins were added: Benzylamino purine (BAP) Biotin (Bio); Calcium pantothenate (Calp); Indole – 3-acetic acid (IAA); Indole -3-buytric acid (IBA); Indole-3-propionic acid (IPA); Kinetin (Kn); Naphtalene acetic acid (NAA). The various culture media used are given below; the concentrations of hormones (in parentheses) are in mg/1.

MS-1 : MS+kn(0.2)+BAP(0.5)+NAA(0.5)+Calp(0.1)+Bio(0.1).

MS-2 : MS+Kn(0.2)+BAP(0.5)+ Calp(0.1)+Bio(0.1).

W-1 : W (no hormones) liquid

W-2 : W +IAA(0.1)+IBA(0.1)+NAA(0.1) liquid

Observe the following steps during media preparation:

Adjust pH of all media to 5.8 with 1N NaOH or 1 N Hcl before autoclaving.

Solidify using 0.8% (w/v) Bacto agar (Difco) for MS-1, MS-2 and W media.

Pour 20ml media/tube (25mm x 150mm, corning brand). Use filter paper supports for liquid media.

Sterilize media at 15psi for 20 min, followed by steaming at atmospheric pressure for 30min on the subsequent day.

Filter sterilize (Millipore filter, membrance size 0.22m) hormones used for root initiation like IAA, IBA, IPA and NAA and add aseptically to W-1 medium.

b). Germination of Seeds

Wash healthy tamarind seeds with a detergent (tween-20, 10% v/v), followed by a wash in 70% ethanol for 1 min and finally in 0.1% HgCl2 for 20 min.

Remove all traces of the sterilant by repeated washings with distilled water. Inoculate the seeds on W basal medium.

The seeds germinate within 10 days of culture.

c). Callus Initiation

Excise segments (10-15mm) from different regions of in vitro grown seedlings (viz. stem, leaf root and cotyledon) and inoculate onto MS-1 medium.

Callus formation in seen from all explants after 15-20 days of culture. Callus obtained from leaf and root is whitish in colour and soft in nature while the callus from cotyledons is nodular and light brown in colour. Attempts to differentiate the various calli into roots, shoots, etc., proved unsuccessful.

d). Regeneration of shoots from Seedling Explants

Sterilize seeds and germinate them as described earlier.

Use only seedlings of approximately 50-60mm height for these studies. Inoculate 8-10mm long explants of hypocotyls, shoot tips, nodal segments, cotyledons and roots on MS-2 medium.

Take all observation after a 30 day culture period. Hypocotyle explants develop 4-5 shoots per tube as compared to nodal and shoot tip explants which produce 1 and 2 shoots/tube respectively. Cotyledon and root explants form only callus without any shoot generation.

Shoots regenerated in vitro attain a height of about 20-30mm in 30 days. Subculture the shoots once in 6 weeks onto the same MS-2 medium; 3-4 shoots generated per tube at each subculture.

e). Rooting of in Vitro Grown Shoots and Transfer to soil

Choose elongated shoots (40-50mm long) for rooting.

An auxin mixture comprising IAA, IBA, IPA and NAA in water at a concentration of 1mg/1 each is used.

Add the auxin mixture aseptically to W-1 medium contained in tubes.

Excise the shoots and keep for treatment in W-2 medium in tubes so that the basal cut end (5mm) of the shoot dips in the liquid medium and is supported firmly by the filter paper bridge.

Incubate cultures for 72h in the dark.

After auxin treatment shift the shoots W-1 medium. Incubate these culture now in light (18h photoperiod, 1000 lux intensity).

Root initiation is observed after 2 weeks of culture. Rooting efficiency is 60-70%.

f). Transfer of Plantlets to Field

Remove plantlets which have attained a height of about 50-60mm from tubes.

Wash the root system thoroughly in running tap water to remove all traces of medium adhering to the plantlet.

Transfer the individual plantlets into pots containing a mixture of sterile sand, soil and compost (3:3:1).

Incubate the potted plants at 28oC under a 16h photo period.

Transfer the plants to the field after they reach a height of 300-350mm in pots.

Prepare pits in the field measuring 30cm3, refill with soil and plant the seedlings in the centre. Of the planets, 50-60% survive in the field.

g). Field Data of Tamarind Trees

The tissue cultured plants of tamarind which were transferred to the field were given regular irrigation and a nitrogen fertilizer (urea). Weeding was performed at regular intervals. Initially the plants were watered twice a week but after one year of growth irrigation once a week in summer (March to June) and once in two weeks in winter (October to February) was found sufficient. Plants were observed for their growth performance and other morphological characteristics such as flowering, branchiness, spread etc. The results obtained from tissue culture plants were compared with those of the controls (Table 2).

Table 2: Comparative field date of tissue culture plants derived from seedling explants of tamarind. Field planting, October 1980. Last observation, May 1985, Number of tissue culture plants = 14. Number of seed raised plants (control) = 14. Statistical design paired plot.

Observation

Control

Tissue Culture

Average height (m)

2.47

3.73a

SE(+/-)

0.02

0.02

CD (5%)

0.06

0.06

Branching habit

Moderate

Profuse

Average Spread (m)

5.18

7.89

Date of first flowering

Not yet in flower

May 1984b

April 1985c

a – Statistically significant

b4 – plants flowered

c 11 – plants flowered

The immediate advantage of tissue culture plants will be in the early flowering and fruiting cycle, height, branching habit and spread of branches. The above features are evident in the field data (Table 2). They found that the tissue cultured trees were flowered at the age of 3 ½ years but seed raised trees take about 13-14 years to reach the state. The average spread of the tissue culture plants is better than that of controls (Table 1) and the branching was profuse in tissue culture raised plants and moderate branching was observed in seed raised plants. Flowering was observed at an average height of 3.7m in tissue culture raised plants, while the seed raised trees are flowering only after reaching 8.0m average height. So, the tissue cultured plants permit planting of a such higher population per given area (about 156 plants with a 9 x 9m spacing per hectare). This could substitute for the present planting practice where the trees are planted at a 12.5 x 12.5m spacing with 65 plants per hectare.

The method described permits a rapid rate of plant production with a tree species where conventional vegetative methods of propagation are not tree species where conventional vegetative methods of propagation are not yet well developed. The tissue culture technique described for tamarind could be integrated into breeding programs.

6.SILVICULTURAL PRACTICES

6.1 Planting : Tamarind tree attains a huge size, therefore it should be planted 12m x 12m in a field or 10m apart as avenue or farm boundary. Pits of 1 m3 size are prepared in summer, refilled with soil + 50kg compost and planting should be done in the beginning of monsoon. It would be desirable to develop micro-catchment around trees to collect runoff water from monsoon rains.

6.2 Training and Pruning : Permit clear high head and uniform branching in all directions for the natural growth of the tree. No pruning is required.

6.3 Intercropping : This is a slow growing tree and would take about 15 years to occupy allotted space 12m x 12m. Under these conditions during rainy season green manure crops of appropriate vegetables can be taken to economize early years of orcharding. Choice of the crop will be determined by the climate of region.

6.4 Orchard Soil Management : Basins should be kept clean to permit accumulation of water in rainy season and interspace could be covered with appropriate vegetation to avoid soil erosion. In summer, mulching would help to avoid water loss through evaporation. However, these standards will have to be investigated.

6.5 Tending : Regular weeding and loosening of the soil, both in the nursery and the field, stimulate growth. As tamarind is grown mainly for its fruit and not for timber, it is not removed in thinning in mixed crops.

6.6 Nutrition : Being a leguminous tree, it may not require nitrogenous fertilizer but permission of rotting of leaves which shed regularly in the drip shall be beneficial in enriching the soil and improving its physical state. Phosphorus application at pit filling will be advantageous.

6.7 Irrigation : Once the plant has established, it hardly needs any irrigation. However, water harvesting in rhizosphere during the rainy season would be advantageous. In heavy rainfall areas proper drainage would be essential.

6.8 Rate of Growth : Tamarind is a slow-growing species.

6.9 Post Harvest Handling of Fruits : After harvest the fruits are allowed to dry and their hard shell is removed. Such fruits are marketed. Sometimes the seeds are also taken out and fruits are made into tamarind balls and marketed.

UTILISATION AND MARKETING

Almost every par of it finds some use, but the most useful is the fruit. The later contains a sweetish, acidic pulp, the tamarind of commerce, which is widely used for souring curries, sauces, chutneys and certain beverages. It is also much employed in medicine. Leaves boiled with gingelly oil is applied to relieve swelling caused by sprains/fractures and also to relieve pain. It is believed that continuous use of tamarind in daily food reduces the chances of stone formation in urinary system of human beings. It is an important condiment. Pulp is mixed with sugar and made into tamarind balls (sweetmeat). It is used for seasoning other food. A refreshing acid drink and syrup are also made. Tamarind pulp is also exported to Europe and America for preparing chutney and meat sauces. Under ordinary conditions, the pulp remains good for about a year provided it is kept in dry condition. Due to high humidity it sweats. Pulp is also salted (10 percent salt) and trodden into mass made into balls for marketing. Seeds are eaten roasted or boiled. Pounded seeds are used as cattle feed. Processed seed powder is used in the confectionary industry for manufacture of chocolates. The kernels contain a polysaccharide having very good sizing properties, and are extensively employed as a source of a sizing powder in cotton and jute industries; the isolated polysaccharide is also useful in food and other industries the tree is widely planted in avenues and it also yields a valuable timber which is hard and difficult to work. It is good fuel wood of high calorific value.

Local survey of the marketing of Tamarind indicated that the traders make bulk purchases from Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. The buying rates during peak season varies from Rs. 6 to Rs. 17 per kg. depending upon the quality. During off season the buying rates vary from Rs.17 to Rs.24 per kg. The processed Tamarind is stored in Air conditioned room in order to retain the colour and thus preventing it from getting a black shade. The selling price varies from Rs.12 to Rs.20 during peak season and it is Rs.20 to Rs.30 per kg in the off season.

A 200 year old plus tree near Urigam, Tamil Nadu is reported to yield 2 tonnes of fruits per year. The average length of the fruit is 12 inches and width is 1-1/2 inche.