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Joined: May 30, 2006
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Joined: Dec 1, 2003
- As a commercial crop pomegranate is grown to a limited extent in selected locations in many states. The estimated area under pomegranate in India is about 25000 ha. with Maharashtra accounting for more than two third area, while other states like AP, UP, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu share the rest.
- Climate : Pomegranate prefers dry climate. During fruit development, prolonged hot and dry climate is required. Optimum temperature congenial for fruit development is 38 degree C. In humid climate the fruits are severely damaged by pomegranate butterfly and do not develop sweetness. It is winter hardy and very drought tolerant. It can grow up to an elevation of 1850 meters.
- Soil : It grows under wide variety of soils and can tolerate even alkalinity and salinity to certain extent. However, best results are obtained in deep heavy loam and well drained soils. It is sensitive to soil moisture fluctuations causing fruit cracking which is a serious problem of this crop.
- Varieties and Propagation : In recent years several new varieties have been developed and new orchards have come with well-known improved varieties.
Ganesh : This is a selection from ‘Alandi’ developed by Dr. Cheema at Pune which has revolutionized cultivation of pomegranate in Maharashtra state. This has soft seeds and pinkish flesh with juice of agreeable taste and bears heavily.
Dholka : Popular variety of Gujarat with fruits of large size, rind greenish yellow, flesh aril pinkish white seeds soft, juice acidic. It is a medium cropper.
Jodhpur Local : Medium sized fruit with hard rind, fleshy aril light pink, sweet, juicy, seed moderately hard.
Seedless (Bedana) : Fruit medium to large in size, rind brownish green, fleshy aril light pink or whitish, very sweet, very juicy, soft seeded. ‘Bassein seedless & KVK – 1’ are from Karnataka and ‘Jalore Selection’ are popular names in north India. In South India, ‘Paper Shell’, ‘Spanish Ruby’, ‘Muscat Red’ & ‘Velladu’ have shown promise.
- Vegetative propagation is recommended in establishing pomegranate. Propagation by cuttings is common. Cuttings should be taken from suckers which spring from the base of the main stem and should be mature about 20 to 30 cm long and 6-12 mm thick. Rainy season is the best period to achieve maximum success.
- Cultural Practice :
Planting distance would depend on soil type and climate. Old orchards were planted at 3 to 6 m space. Nowadays with new dwarf varieties a spacing of 4 x 4 m is recommended which accommodates 625 plants/ha.
- Training & Pruning : Multi stem training is more prevalent and useful also because due to some reason even if the plant losses one stem it contains others to survive.
- Pomegranate fruits are borne terminally on short spurs arising from mature shoots. These bear fruits for 3 to 4 years. Only limited pruning of trees are required. The gradual growth of new shoots should be encouraged by restricted cutting back of bearing
shoots. Suckers are removed regularly.
- Orchard Management : During gestation period which is normally 3 to 4 years for improved varieties, growing pulses & green manure crops are recommended only during rainy season.
- Flower regulation : In subtropics, pomegranate flowers in spring while in tropics (Central and South India), it flowers in three distinct phases with maximum intensity in rainy season. Spring flowers (Ambe-bahar) give fruits in summer when the demand is maximum but of poor quality. Therefore, efforts should be directed to avail of rainy flowers (Mrig-bahar) so that fruiting period coincides with the time of maximum water availability in the soil and the crop is taken without irrigation. For Mrig bahar treatment results in sufficient suppression of growth. Trees usually shed leaves by March and remain dormant upto May. Then the field is ploughed, manure and fertilizers are applied and first light irrigation is given in the middle of May and thereafter one or two light irrigation are given until rains set in. The trees put up new growth, flower and fruit with crop availability in October-November. This is the most advisable approach in arid and semi-arid regions with limited resources.
- Nutrition : The recommended doses of manures of fertilizers for Ganesh variety in Maharashtra is 25 kg of FYM, 500 g N, 125 g P2O & 125 g. K2) per plant per year for 4 to 6 year old plants. Time of application will vary with the crop. For Ambe bahar December/January, for Mrig bahar May/June and for Haste Bahar October/November are appropriate periods.
- Irrigation may be given depending on soil, climate and availability of water.
- Pests & Diseases : Pomegranate butterfly and bark eating caterpillar are the common pests of Pomegranate.
- The fruits are susceptible to fruit fly which needs to be controlled from flowering to button stage. At this stage spray of sevin (carbaryl) 0.2% (200 gm/100 litre) or endosuplhan 0.05% at 10 days interval alternatively, must be given.
- Fruit spot and fruit rot are the common fungal diseases for which proper and regular spraying are made.
- Physiological disorder : Fruit cracking is a most serious physiological disorder in pomegranate which limits its cultivation. In young fruits it could be due to boron deficiency but fully grown fruits crack due to moisture imbalances as there are very sensitive to variations in soil moisture and humidity. Prolonged drought causes hardening of peel and if this is followed by heavy irrigation or down pour then the pulp grows and the peel cracks. This problem can be overcome by
a) Maintaining soil moisture and not allowing wide variations in soil moisture depletion,
b) Cultivation of tolerant varieties,
c) Early harvesting not allowing the fruits to crack and
d) Spray of calcium hydroxide on leaves and on fruit set.
- Harvesting, Yield and Marketing :
Normally, pomegranate flowers take 5 to 6 months to be ready as mature fruits. They should be harvested mature which can be judged by change in skin colour to slightly yellow and metallic sound when tapped. A grown up well kept tree should give about 100 to 150 fruits per year. A high density system with ‘Ganesh’ 1000 plant/ha (5x2m) has been found very profitable giving a crop of 50 fruits/tree of good quality.
- After harvesting, fruits can be cured in shade for about a week so that the skin becomes hard and fruits can stand transportation better. Thereafter, the fruits can be graded according to weight
‘A’ grade - 350 g & above
‘B’ grade - 200 to 350 g & above
‘C’ grade - Less than 200 g.
- Cured fruits have good keeping quality which can further be prolonged through cold storage. When stored at 00C to 4.50C with 80%. Relative Humidity fruit remain safe even for seven months.
- Unit Cost: The unit cost has been worked out to Rs.55000/- per ha. The orchard can give economic yield up to 30 years.