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ISSN : 1225-8504(Print)
ISSN : 2287-8165(Online)
Journal of the Korean Society of International Agriculture Vol.34 No.3 pp.199-204

The Indian Gooseberry (Emblica officinalis) Industry and Cultivation in India

Shailesh S. Sawantt‡, Byulhana Leet‡, Janghoon Song, Ho-Jin Seo
Pear Research Institute, National Institute of Horticultural & Herbal Science, Naju, 58216, Republic of Korea

‡These authors equally contributed to this study as first author

Corresponding author (Phone) +82-61-330-1562 (E-mail)
July 4, 2022 August 22, 2022 August 23, 2022


The Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis), also known as aonla or amla, belongs to the Euphorbiaceae family and is native to India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Thailand, and China. This fruit is gaining popularity globally because of its medicinal as well as nutraceutical properties. It is one of India's most integral commercial crops and is recognized for its nutritive, nutraceutical, and therapeutic value. India ranks first in the world in terms of cultivation and production, and it is mostly cultivated in Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Himachal Pradesh. Over the past decade, the area covered by this fruit has increased to approximately 25,000 ha. The total area under production is approximately 93,000 ha, with an annual production of approximately 1,090 thousand metric tonnes of fruit. Although India has favorable climatic conditions for growing gooseberry, its cultivation and production remain challenging because of pests as well as diseases, which cause considerable damage. In this study, we discuss the current status of Indian gooseberry production, as well as the major insect pests in the gooseberry-growing regions of India.

인도의 구즈베리 (Emblica officinalis) 산업과 재배 현황

사완트 사일러쉬t‡, 이 별하나t‡, 송 장훈, 서 호진
국립원예특작과학원 배연구소



    The climate of India makes this region unique and offers tremendous opportunities to produce varieties of horticultural crops such as moringa, cabbage, apple, mango, banana, orange, pear, gooseberry etc. (Park et al., 2015;Lee et al., 2016;Sawant et al., 2021;Gantait et al., 2021;Sharma et al., 2022). Indian gooseberry (Emblica officinalis), also known as aonla, is an important fruit crop of Indian origin that is grown in all parts of the country under diverse agro-climatic conditions. It can also be grown successfully in arid climates and soils with a high pH and poor fertility. Gooseberry plants are common in the mixed deciduous dry forests of India, ascending from sea level (Western and Eastern Ghats, Aravali, and Vindhyan hills) to 1,300 m above sea level and from the northwest Himalayas (Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttranchal) to the eastern Himalayas in Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Manipur, and Tripura. In the last two decades, there has been a tremendous increase in gooseberry cultivation across the country (Singh et al., 2019). The Indian gooseberry is a subtropical fruit, and its cultivation in tropical, arid, and rainfed semi-arid conditions has been successful. Natural growing plants can be seen on hills up to 1800 m above sea level (Pathak, 2003). It is now grown near the coast of South India and the foothills of North India. India ranks first in the world in terms of area and production of Indian gooseberry. In 2018–2019, India produced 1,046 thousand metric tonnes (MT) of gooseberries, with a total area under cultivation of 92,000 ha (NHB, 2022). Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu are the major gooseberry- cultivation states, accounting for 75% of the total gooseberry production in India (NHB, 2022). Apart from India, naturally growing trees are also found in different parts of the world, including Sri Lanka, China, Thailand, Vietnam, the USA (Hawai and Florida), Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Malaysia, Bhutan, Trinidad, Panama, and Japan (Singh et al., 2019).

    The gooseberry fruit is a rich source of vitamin C (Singh et al., 2006). It is also an excellent source of amino acids, minerals, and phytochemicals such as polyphenols, tannins, emblicol, linoleic acid, corilagin, phyllemblin, and rutin (Murthy and Joshi, 2007;Khan, 2009). The fruit and its products are used to treat various ailments, including diabetes, inflammation, atherosclerosis, acidity, asthma, skin disorders, and corpulence. The fruits have also been reported to possess hypolipidemic, hypoglycemic, and antimicrobial activities (Khan, 2009). Hindu literature also prescribes that if ripe gooseberry fruits are eaten for 40 days in the morning after fasting, it restores health and vitality, known as Kaya Kalpa (Haldhar et al., 2016). Therefore, Indian gooseberry has been used in traditional medicinal systems, such as Indian Ayurvedic, Chinese, and Tibetan medicine.


    Gooseberry cultivars were not standardized until the mid-seventies and were identified mostly based on size, color, such as green-tinged, red-tinged, pink-tinged, and white-streaked, or location. There are three major commercial gooseberry cultivars in India, Banarasi, Chakaiya, and Francis (Hatijhool), which are cultivated in Uttar Pradesh. Banarasi is a cultivar commonly grown in the Varanasi district of Uttar Pradesh. It is a popular variety with upright growth habits and three branchlets per node. Its fruits are medium to large and roundish with six linear grooves extending from the base to the apex and are light green in the early stage and whitish-green at maturity. The flesh is moderately fibrous, soft, and semi-transparent. Flowering begins early, in the fourth week of March, and the fruits mature earlier than other varieties. The drawback of this variety is that it is prone to fruit loss, which results in a bare canopy. In addition, the shelf life of the gooseberries is shorter than that of other varieties. The Banarasi variety is not preferred for culinary applications and is mostly used for making candies.

    Chakaiya is a cultivar with a tall, upright growth. The fruit is small to medium, flattened, has a greenish colored, smooth skin; and fibrous and hard flesh. It is a late-maturing variety. The fruits are of good quality and suitable for pickles and other products. The varieties Francis also called as Hatijhool originate in Pratapgarh (Uttar Pradesh). Francis is the preferred gooseberry variety in India for making value-added products such as candy, powder and juices. The fruit is large, flattened, oval, and has greenish yellow colored smooth skin. The flesh is soft and nearly fibreless. Francis is a high-yielding variety that bears fruits regularly. It is highly susceptible to fruit necrosis and is thus unsuitable for preservation.

    Each of these varieties has several benefits but also limitations and therefore, the Narendra Dev University of Agriculture and Technology has developed several gooseberry varieties for commercial cultivation in India, namely Krishna (NA-4), Kanchan (NA-5), Narendra Aonla-6 (NA-6), Narendra Aonla-7 (NA-7), and Narendra Aonla- 10 (NA-10). Krishna (NA-4) has been created from selective breeding using Banarasi. The fruits are large with smooth skin, whitish-green to apricot-yellow in color, and possess red spots on the exposed surface. The flesh is fibreless, hard, semi-transparent, and highly astringent. It is an early-maturing and shy bearing cultivar with no evidence of fruit necrosis. Kanchan (NA-5) comes from selective breeding using Chakaiya. Fruits are medium in size, have a flattened oblong shape and smooth skin, are light green in color, and have six segments that are difficult to separate; they also have good fiber content. The tree is tall and has a spreading growth habit. This variety has been widely adopted in semi-arid regions with high fruit production. Industries prefer this variety for pulp extraction and for making various products. Narendra Aonla-6 (NA- 6) is a cultivar created from Chakaiya. Its fruits are bright and shiny, medium to large, flattened, and have low fiber content. It matures in the middle of the season (mid- November to mid-December). So far, this is the most promising variety of Indian gooseberry available for plantation. Narendra Aonla-7 (NA-7) is an open-pollinated Francis cultivar. The fruits are medium to large, oval with an irregular base and conical shaped, have smooth skin, and are yellowish-green in color. The flesh is almost fibreless and soft, of moderate quality, free from necrosis, and suitable for processing. This variety has been adopted in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Jammu, and Kashmir. The major constraint of NA-7 is the brittleness of the branches, which often break owing to the fruit load. This is an ideal variety for processing and holds great promise. Narendra Aonla-10 (NA-10) results from a chance selection from Banarasi. Fruits are appealing, range from medium to large, and have flattened circular shapes. The skin is rough and yellowish-green with a pink tinge. The flesh is slightly fibrous, whitish-green, soft, juicy, and highly astringent. This is the earliest maturing variety with good quality. They are mildly susceptible to necrosis. The fruit characteristics of the major commercial gooseberry cultivars are presented in Table 1.


    India is the world’s seventh largest country by area, and over half of the territory is used as cropland, making it one of the largest producers of agricultural commodities worldwide (FAO, 2022;Teluguntla et al., 2015). The country's total geographical area is 328.7 million hectares, of which 179.5 million hectares are agricultural land (FAO, 2022), and 92–93 thousand hectares are used to produce gooseberry (NHB, 2022). Gooseberry is commercially cultivated in Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Bihar, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, and Rajasthan (Pathak, 2003). The state of Uttar Pradesh is India's largest producer of gooseberry, with a 35% share of production. Uttar Pradesh produced 379 thousand MT of gooseberries in 2019–2020. Madhya Pradesh is the second-largest gooseberry-producing state in India, with a share of 28%, followed by Tamil Nadu, with a 14% share (HAPIS, 2022). Within an area of 95,000 ha, India produces approximately 1,000–1,160 thousand MT of gooseberries annually (Table 2).


    Gooseberries are traded globally. The data provided by the Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India (SYSTEM ON INDIA's TRADE ( show that almost 42 countries and territories actively import Gooseberry from India. The USA is the largest market for gooseberry exports from India. In 2020–2021, the top five trading partners for gooseberry exports from India were the USA (0.22 USD Million) followed by Bangladesh (0.04 USD Million), Canada (0.01 USD Million), Sri Lanka (0.01 USD Million), and Germany (0.01 USD Million). The total export value of gooseberries to these countries is 0.29 USD million. These top five countries account for over 87.88% of India’s total gooseberry exports. The year-wise trends show that gooseberry exports from India grew significantly from 2013 to 2021 (Figure 1). In 2013, the total value of gooseberry export was 0.02 USD million. The data for 2021 show an export value of 0.55 USD million. Indian gooseberry and its products have great export potential as they are used in the food, beverage, cosmetics, and pharmaceutical industries.


    Initially, Indian gooseberries were free from attacks and infestations by pests and diseases. However, over time and with increased cultivation area, several insects have started feeding on and infecting gooseberries at various growth stages.

    Bark-eating caterpillars (Indarbela quadrinotata): Bark-eating caterpillars affect the main trunk of plants and create tunnels. They feed on the bark and create thick ribbon- shaped silk webs running along the bark of the main stem with one caterpillar or pupa occupying each tunnel. Severe infestation may result in the death of the attacked stem but not of the main trunk. Sen-Sharma (1987) observed that aonla was severely attacked by I. quadrinotata, which led to an unhealthy condition of the crop and loss of production.

    Shoot-gall maker (Betanosa stylophora): The young caterpillars bore into tender shoots and feed in pits during August and September. The damaged region develops a gall-like structure. All varieties are susceptible to attacks (Gantait et al., 2021).

    Fruit borer (Deudorix isocrates): This is one of the serious pest in India. Newly hatched caterpillars bore into the fruits and feed on developing seeds. The holes made by the caterpillars facilitate the entry of pathogens and induce fruit rot and drop. Affected fruits are subjected to bacterial and fungal infections that lead to fruit rot. These fruits weaken, rot, and fall before maturation. Severe attacks can result in considerable loss. In the case of severe infestations, the borer has been reported to destroy 40–70% of aonla fruits during the rainy season in some regions (Atwal, 1976;Khan, 2016).

    Aonla aphids (Schoutedenia emblica): This is a serious pest of new flushes. Aphids infest tender shoots, leaves, flower buds, and fruits. Infested leaves turn yellow and dry, and infested shoots appear bent and twisted at growing points. The presence of ants also indicates aphid infestation. New shoots are infested at the growing points. The nymphs and adult females feed on the sap. Heavy attacks affect the growth and vigor of trees, ultimately affecting flowering and fruiting. This pest is most common from July to October, with a peak period in September (Devi and Rajasekaran, 2011).

    Leaf rollers (Caloptilia acidula): The small purplishbrown moth lays eggs on the underside of new leaves. After 2–3 days, the eggs hatch and young apodous caterpillars form zigzag mines on the ventral surface of tender leaves while feeding; they feed on chlorophyll by scraping rolled leaves. The damaged leaflets fall, and only the midrib remains on the twig. In the case of heavy incidence, the leaves dry and drop, leading to twig drying.


    The Indian gooseberry fruit has received worldwide popularity because of its medicinal and nutraceutical properties. The market for this fruit is divided according to its form and application. Gooseberry powder contributes to 50% of the market share and is expected to grow rapidly because of the high nutritional value of its raw form. Based on their use, the market is divided into pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and others. The export trend in the last seven years has almost doubled. Indian gooseberries have great potential for commercial contribution to the Indian economy. Therefore, the popularization and development of products with desirable health benefits are needed. Research and development of cultivars suitable for specific industrial demands, value addition, and marketing possibilities for quicker disposal of produce are urgently needed to increase the area under gooseberry cultivation in India. Furthermore, the expansion of growing areas in arid and semi-arid ecosystems will benefit growers financially.

    적 요

    인도구스베리(Emblica officinalis)는 인도에서 ‘aonla' 또는 ‘amla’로 알려져 있으며 Euphorbiaceae과 작물로 인도, 스리랑 카, 말레이시아, 태국, 중국 등이 원산지입니다.

    인도구스베리(Emblica officinalis)는 인도에서 가장 중요한 상업 작물 중 하나로, 의학 및 기능성 식품 등으로 인해 전 세계적으로 인기를 얻고 있습니다.

    인도의 구즈베리의 생산량과 재배면적은 전세계 1위 국가로 총 재배면적은 93,000 ha이며, 연간 1,090,000 톤의 과일을 생산합니다.

    인도는 구즈베리 재배에 유리한 기후 조건을 가지고 있어 최근 10년동안 재배면적이 크게 늘어났는데 재배면적이 늘어 남에 따라 병해충의 발생 양상이 다양하게 변하여 재배 및 생 산이 점차 어려워 지고 있다.


    This work was supported by a grant from the National Institute of Horticultural and Herbal Science (NIHHS), funded by the Rural Development Administration (RDA) of the Republic of Korea (PJ01454401).



    Gooseberry export trends 2013–2021.

    Source: Ministry of Commerce and Industries, Government of India, and Trade Data statistics


    Cultivars of Indian gooseberry and their characteristics.

    Area and production of gooseberry in India.


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