What Is Guava?
Guava is a tropical fruit that grows on trees with dark green, elongated leaves. Before becoming fruit, the guava is a small 5-petaled, white flower with multiple stamens. The fruit may appear in different colors, depending on the exact species. The most commonly cultivated and eaten species is the common guava (also known as yellow or lemon guava). This fruit is typically round or oval and between 1.6 and 4.7 inches in diameter. Its appearance is yellow or green on the outside and white or pink inside. Its flesh is full of seeds.
Uses Of Guava
Guava is popular around the world, particularly as guava juice or candy. This fruit has a high pectin level which makes it perfect for jelly, jam, and marmalade. In some places, it is eaten fresh, while in others it is served with salt, pepper, and spice. Guava is high in vitamin C and dietary fiber. Its leaves are thought to have medicinal properties and have been used in folk medicine for years.
Cultivation Of Guava
Grown in tropical and subtropical regions, guava is a relatively slow grower that develops fruit after 2 years. This crop needs little maintenance and can produce a big harvest, making it very popular among fruit growers. In order to encourage faster fruit production, cultivators typically propagate the guava tree from cuttings (also know as graftings). The guava tree can grow in sea level altitudes up to nearly 5,000 feet above sea level. Very hot temperatures during the flowering and fruiting stage can be harmful to the crop. It requires between 3 and 4 feet of water annually.
Top Guava Producing Countries
India is the number 1 guava producing country in the world. Although guava can be grown throughout India, it is most successful in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana. Approximately 501,600 acres are dedicated to guava production in this country. This land area represents just over a 64% increase since the early 1990’s. Cultivation has also increased by around 55%. India produces 17,650,000 metric tons of guava annually. Major importers include the US, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, Kuwait, and Jordan.
The second highest producer of guava is China, where it is mainly grown in the southern regions. In 2011, China produced 4,366,300 metric tons of guava, a significant increase over previous years. Its export value is anywhere from $1.58 to $4.54 per kilo (about 2.2 pounds).
Thailand is the third largest producer of guava in the world. Fruit cultivation is a big industry for this country, and over 1.9 million households produce some type of fruit. The production of guava, however, has been decreasing over recent years. In 2011, for example, Thailand produced 2,550,600 metric tons of this fruit. This country specializes in large, mild guava production, which is different from that produced in India and China. The principal area of guava cultivation is located in central Thailand and includes the provinces of Nakhon Pathom, Samut Sakhon, and Ratchaburi. A large percentage of guava produced in Thailand is exported to Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Hong Kong.
Other top guava producing countries can be found in the chart below.