Kiwi fruit cultivation

Kiwi fruit cultivation on sloping land in the mid-hill areas of Nepal can help prevent soil erosion and is a sustainable land management practice. This high value crop introduces biodiversity and improves livelihoods by providing a source of cash income.

The kiwi fruit is native to China. Previously called Chinese gooseberry, it is now more commonly known by its marketing name of kiwi fruit. Kiwi fruits grow on large vines that are similar to grapevines in their general growth and fruiting habits as well as their training and trellising requirements. The fruit normally ripens within 25 weeks after the flowers first appear. The fruits range in weight from 40 to 90 g and can be picked shortly after the first frost in autumn; after that, they can be kept in cold storage for 4–6 months at oC. Kiwi vines can be grown on a wide range of soil types at elevations ranging from 1000 m to 2500 m. The kiwi plant is dioecious, meaning individual plants are either male or female. Only female plants bear fruit, but only when pollinated by a male plant. Vines of both sexes are essential for fruit production, and they must flower at the same time to ensure pollination. One male pollinator vine is required for eight female vines. The vines are commonly supported on sturdy structures strong enough to bear the heavy fruit, which might otherwise break the rather weak vines. T-bars or hitching post trellises are recommended to support the large fruiting area in the form of a canopy and provide easy access to the fruit.

WOCAT database reference: QT NEP 30

Location: ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari, Lalitpur District, Nepal.

Technology area: 1 ha

Conservation measure(s): Vegetative

Land Use: Perennial (non-woody) cropping

Stage of intervention: Mitigating land degradation

Origin: Introduced as an experiment (plant origin China)

Climate: Subhumid/temperate

Related approach: Not described

Compiled by: Samden Sherpa, ICIMOD

Date: April 2011, updated March 2013

ICIMOD Knowledge Park at Godavari, Lalitpur District, Nepal