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Crops

The Ultimate Guide for Pomegranate farming (2018)

Pomegranate farming

Pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is an important fruit crop grown in India.it is originated in Iran and extensively Pomegranate farming in done in the Mediterranean countries like Spain, Morocco, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan, and Baluchistan. It is cultivated to some extort in Myanmar, China, USA, and India.

India ranks first in pomegranate cultivation in the world. In India major pomegranate producing states are Maharashtra, Karnataka, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Rajasthan.

Maharashtra is leading with 90 thousand ha area with annual production of 9.45 lakh Mt tones and productivity of 10.5 Mt/ha. Maharashtra state accounts for 78 percent of the total area in India and 84 percent of the total production in the country.

Pomegranate is one of the most favorite table fruits. The fresh fruits are used for table purpose and also can be used for the preparation of processed products like juice, syrup, squash, jelly, anar rub, juice concentrates, carbonated cold-drinks, anar dana tablets, acids, etc.

Pomegranate fruit is nutritious, rich in minerals, vitamins, and proteins. The juice is useful for leprosy suffering patients.

Climate

For the Successful pomegranate cultivation, it is essentially dry and semi-arid weather, where cold winter and high dry summer quality enables fruit production. Pomegranate plant can tolerate frost to some extent and may be considered drought-tolerant.

The optimum temperature for fruit development is  35 -38 ° C.

The region with 500 m above from sea level is best suited for pomegranate cultivation.

Soil

Considering the soil requirement, it can be grown under different types of soil, from low-fertile to high-fertile soil. However, in deep loamy, it gives very good yield. It can tolerate salinity and alkalinity in the soil to a certain extent

Soil having pH range between 6.5 – 7.5  is ideal for Pomegranate farming

Propagation method

Pomegranate plant can be commercially propagated through hardwood cutting, air layering, and tissue culture.

Hardwood cutting  propagation:

It easy method but its success rate is lesser, so this method is not popular among farmers. For Cutting selected from a one-year-old tree of 9 to 12 inches (25 to 30 cm) long having 4-5 buds are better for higher rooting and survival.

Air-layering  propagation:

Its most common practice by farmers for raising new plants. For air layering method, select  2 to 3 years old plants and air-layered followed by IBA (1,500 to 2,500 ppm) treatment for better rooting.

From a single plant around 150 to 200 rooted cuttings can be obtained.

Rainy season is best suited for layering. It takes around 30 days for roots. After 45 days, the layered plants should be detached from the mother plant.

Expert Pomegranate grower identifies detach time by the observing colour of roots when it starts to turn brown the layered cuttings are separated. Then these are grown in polybags and kept for hardening up to 90 days under shade net or Greenhouse.

Tissue culture propagation:

Tissue culture is an advance and rapid technique of multiplication of plants. By using this technique, you can obtain diseases free planting material within a short time span.

This plant available in Pomegranate plant nursery buy this plant from a reliable source

Commercial Pomegranate varieties

Pomegranate

This is the commercial varieties grow in India

  • Bhagwa
  • Mridula
  • Ganesh
  • Jyothi,
  • Jalore Seedless
  • Kandhari
  • Phule Arakta
  • Phule Bhagwa Super
  • Bhagwa Sindoor

Out of these, Bhagwa is most cultivated variety due to its high demand for domestic as well as export purpose.

Pit preparation and planting:

Pomegranate plantationNinety-days old Pomegranate plants ready for transplanting into the main field in pits.

Prepare a suitable size of the pit is 60 cm x 6o cm x 60.

Most ideal planting distance followed by farmers is 10 to 12 ft (3 to 3.6 m) between plants and 13-15 ft (3.9 to 4.5 m) between rows.

During monsoon, pits are filled with farmyard manure (10 kg), single superphosphate (500 gm), neem-cake (1 kg).

The optimum time for pomegranate planting is in the rainy season (July-August) when sufficient soil moisture is available for optimum growth of plants.

Fertilizers management in  Pomegranate farming

Pomegranate plantpomegranate can be grown even in the less fertile soil, but thee recommended a dose of chemical fertilizers should be incorporated in the pit for better production and quality of fruits.

The dose of manures and fertilizers varies according to types of soil fertility, genotypes, region to region.

Chemical fertilizers for better growth and development should be given as per following recommendations:

Fertilizers one year
plant
 Five years &
above plant
FYM 50-60 kg 50-60 kg
Urea 10-20 gm 50-60 gm
SSP 150-300 gm 900-1200 gm
MOP 90-120 gm 150 -200 gm

For Ambe Bahar fertilizers should be given in December, and for Mrig Bahar fruits, fertilizers should be given during May

Irrigation

Pomegranate is a drought tolerant fruit crop, which can sustain under water scarcity to some extent.

Regular irrigation is also essential to reduce fruit splitting which is the major disorder of fruits.

During winter irrigation should be applied at 10 to 12 days of interval whereas during summer at 4 to 5 days interval.

Most of the farmers supplied water through drip irrigation which helps in saving of water and convenient to apply fertilizers.

Generally, Ambe Bahar is suggested where irrigation facility is available. Otherwise, Mrig Bahar is preferred.

Training and pruning in Pomegranate

It is one of the promising techniques to control vegetative growth and maintain shape and size of trees in such a way so that it can enable proper light penetration in the center of the tree, ease in cultural operations, spraying, and harvesting of fruits.

There is two method of training system followed in pomegranate.

1) In single stemmed method –

In this method, only one main shoot is kept, by removing other shoots of Pomegranate plant.

2) Multi-stemmed method –

In the multi-stemmed method, Pomegranate plant bush shape is maintained by keeping 3-4 shoots at the base.

This method is very popular and commercially adopted by Pomegranate farmer because, even after shoot borer, one shoot may provide yield instead of the complete loss.

Plant-protection

Pests :

1) Pomegranate butterfly (or) Fruit borer. (Deudorix isocrates)
It is a major pest, which bore into the developing fruits, feed inside and making fruit susceptible to fungal and bacterial infection.

Control 
It can be controlled by bagging young fruits at the early stage with polyethylene bags, spray phosphamidon 0.03 % or sevin @4 gm.

2) Caterpillar
It makes holes on the main trunk and forms networks of tunnels inside it. Feeding on bark during nights and fill it with excreta.

control
It can be effectively managed by plugging the hole with cotton dipped in petrol or kerosene, chloroform, carbon bisulphide followed by covering with mud.

Nowadays bagging of fruits is also practiced by the farmers. This helps up to a certain extent and also improves fruit quality.

 Diseases

1) Bacterial leaf spot or oily spot (Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. punicae):
It is characterized by the formation of small-dark brown water-soaked spots on leaf, twig, stem, and fruits. Cracking can be observed with the shining appearance at a severe stage of infection. It is most severe in the rainy season

Control
It can be measured at some extent by spraying of streptocycline at the rate of 0.5 g/ liter and mixing with copperoxychloride at the rate 2 g/ liter on three consecutive days.

2) Fruit cracking or fruit splitting
it is one the most severe disorder due to the irregular irrigation, boron deficiency and sudden fluctuation in nocturnal and diurnal temperatures, fruits are cracked, which is a common problem in pomegranate.

Control
Spraying of boron at the rate 0.1% and GA3atthe rate 250 ppm disease can be minimized to some extent.
Besides, maintaining proper soil moisture level; selecting cracking tolerant variety are some preventive measures.

3) Sunburn
It is also a major problem if fruits are not harvested at the proper stage. A blackish round spot appears
on the upper surface of fruits. It reduces the cosmetic appeal of fruits.

Control
Bagging of fruits maintains colour and attack of fruit flies.

Harvesting

Pomegranate HarvestingPomegranate harvesting is starting after 150 to 180 days from flowering to fruit maturity. But it depends on genotype, climatic condition, and growing region.

Harvesting of fruits should be done at optimum maturity stage because early harvesting results from the dull, immature and improper ripening of fruits whereas late harvesting leads to more prone to the attack of disorders. However, Pomegranate a non-climacteric fruit which should be harvested after at proper ripening stage.

There are several harvest signs used to assess the maturity and harvesting of pomegranate fruits. Dark rose pink
colour should develop on the surface and dark pink aril mostly preferred by the consumers.

The calyx at the bottom of Pomegranate fruits gets turn inward side is also a maturity index. Aril should be turned in deep red or pink. Fruits of pomegranate should not be over ripened.

Fruits should be harvested with the help of secateurs or clippers, because manual twisting may cause damage to fruits in clusters.

Yield

A healthy Pomegranate tree can produce up to 12 to 15 kg/ plant yield during the first year. From second year onwards, yield from per a plant is around 15 to 20 kg.

Postharvest handling

It follows the given steps.

Cleaning and washing:

After harvesting, fruits should be sorted out because diseased and cracked fruits should be removed and healthy fruits are selected for further treatment.

After sorting, fruits should be washed with solution sodium hypochlorite at the rate 100ppm in water. This treatment will be helpful to reduce microbial contamination and to maintain longer shelf-life.

Pre-cooling:

It is an essential operation before storage of fruits, so It helps to remove vital heat and field heat of produce
which results in shelf-life enhancement of fruits.

For pomegranate fruits, the forced air cooling system is used for precooling. Hence it should be maintained around 5ºC with 90% relative humidity.

Grading of fruits:

Graded fruits are attracting and appealing to the consumers which helpful for getting a higher price from domestic as well as international markets.

Pomegranate fruits are generally graded by their size and weight. However, grading standards are varying country to country.

However, grade specifications as per National Horticulture Board for the export purpose are as follows.

Grade Fruit weight
Super size 750 gm
King size 500-700 gm
Queen size 400-500 gm
Prince size 300-400 gm

Pomegranate Packaging

Pomegranate Packaging

Pomegranate fruits are packed in wooden boxes, plastic crates for domestic and local markets.

For the international market, mainly corrugated fibreboard boxes are used, and the capacity of the box should be
4 kg or 5 kg.

According to AGMARK specifications dimension of  4 kg capacity box is 375×275×100 mm3 and for  5 kg box is  480×300×100 mm3.

Temperature is the most crucial factor for pomegranate shelf-life because pomegranate fruits are perishable in nature, so an optimum temperature is required for long-term storage.

The very low temperature may induce chilling injury in fruits, so an ideal temperature for storage of fresh pomegranate fruit is 6° to 7°C and 90 to 95% Relative Humidity. At this temperature, Pomegranate fruits can store up to 3 months.

Marketing

Marketing is done with the help of an agent or broker whereas own marketing is possible only at a low production level.

In domestic markets, Pomegranate fruits can make a sale at the wholesale rate of  60 to 80/kg fruits whereas in distance market it gets higher price  90 to150/kg fruits.

 

About the author

amar sawant

amar sawant

Amar Sawant is an entrepreneur, farmer, and writer. He works more than ten years as agri-entrepreneur. Always busy in farm to find something new.

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