The aim of this study was to estimate the production cost and economic indicators associated with the production and sales of fruits from 20 custard apple progenies during the initial five harvests, in order to identify the harvest season from which custard apple exploitation becomes profitable, as well as the most promising progenies from an economic point of view. The fruit yield data upon which the present work was based were obtained during the period from 2001 to 2005, in an experiment that evaluated 20 custard apple half-sibling progenies, under sprinkler irrigation. The progenies were evaluated in a random block design with five replicates and plots consisting of four plants each. The exploitation of custard apple progenies only showed to be a profitable agribusiness after the fourth year. Before that, only A3 and A4 progenies in the second year, and P3 and P11 in the third year provided profitable incomes. Considering the methodological assumptions imposed concerning the time period analysis and the prices as of July 2007, the most important profitability indicators (operating profit, return index and equilibrium price) evidenced that the A4 progeny is the most recommended, although other progenies are also highlighted, such as FJ1 and FJ2. As already discussed, the progenies showing the highest average yields of five harvests are not always the most economically recommendable ones.
Annona squamosa L.; progenies; custard apple; sweetsop; bullock's heart; cost-effectiveness