Main Article Content
Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.) is the foremost fruit plant of Sindh, Pakistan. The plant is dioecious and requires artificial pollination.The mechanical devices are also introduced to save overall production cost and improved fruit yield. Therefore this study tested the effectiveness of both, manual and mechanical, pollination methods in selected date palm cultivars. In this regard, six date palm cultivars namely Aseel, Dhakki, Muzawati, Hussaini, Karbalain and Shakri were selected for both successive seasons 2017 and 2018 at Date Palm Research Station, Kotdiji, Khairpur (Mir’s) Sindh, Pakistan. The selected date palm cultivars pollinated by manual and mechanical pollination methods. The study identified significant variations in fruit characters among the six cultivars. The cultivars Dhakki and Shakri produced relatively larger fruits compared to the rest of cultivars. These cultivars produced larger fruit pulp with average length 4.1 cm and diameter 2.3 cm when pollinated by manual method. Whereas, Flesh weight, seed weight, bunch weight and total yield of plants were not significantly different in manually and mechanically pollinated plants. Further, the experiments suggested optimizing the mechanical pollination method for better fruit quality and yield, using a varied concentration of pollen powder and frequency of pollination.
Keywords: Date palm; Fruit quality; Pollination methods; Yield