Pomegranate is a juicy red-colored fruit loved by all. It is known for the tiny red seeds it has that are also called arils. While it’s a fruit loved by many people, not many of them are aware of its growth in India. In our country, it is grown in wise production of around seven hundred tons. The pomegranate is grown in various regions throughout India. If you are interested in learning how, where, and when you grow this magnificent fruit, stay tuned further.
Pomegranates are a massive deal at Maharashtra, being the leading fruit cultivator in India. It has been known over the years as an essential fruit cultivated here. While only grown commercially in this area, they are also seen in small portions in states such as Karnataka as well as Tamil Nadu. If you ask what the export facilities are like, we get the answer. The new and high-grade pomegranates are exported to a few European countries and also to Middle Eastern countries like Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates as well.
Pomegranate is considered among India’s most popular fruits. Though it is common in India, it originated in Iran. It is also known as a crop resistant to droughts. Daily irrigation is entirely mandatory for the output of commercial yield. This irrigation depends on different factors such as soil quality, tree size, possible evaporation, and phase psychology. During the process of farming, Pomegranate, there are so many things to remember. You have to understand the nature of the soil, the environment, and some of the farming tools required. Please take a look at different aspects of Pomegranate Farming together with their guidance.
It can be grown in a wide range of soils that can tolerate alkalinity and salinity to an extended level. The result is dark, hard loam soil, however, it reveals. Make sure the soil has drained well. Pomegranate is a little susceptible to variations in soil moisture. It usually causes the problem of fruit cracking, which is typical for this crop. If you’re searching for the best form of soil for pomegranate growing, the land must be well-drained, and deep loamy, sandy loan. Alluvial soils are suitable for grazing pomegranates.
If we find the ideal climate for Organic Pomegranate Farming, the correct one will be the dry one. But it requires both a hot and dry environment during the fruit production process. The optimal fruit production temperature is 38 degrees Centigrade. Throughout environment humidity, the fruit gets hurt by butterfly pomegranate and loses its sweetness. But in the case of cold weather, it is tolerant of hardiness and drought. Pomegranates typically grow well in semi-arid environments. They will grow to an altitude of up to 500 m above m.s.l. If the supplied irrigation facilities are available, it can handle hot, dry summer and cold winter.
The propagation of vegetation is recommended for organic pomegranate development. The propagation is very popular by cutting. It should be taken from suckers when the spring is coming from the main stem’s base. The cutting should be approximately 20-30 cm long, along with 6-12 mm thick. The best time of the rainy season is for optimum output.
It is also widely grown in the northern dry districts of the state of Karnataka. The production of varieties such as Ganesh, Mridula (Arakta), Ruby, Bhagwa (Kesar) has revolutionized state-run pomegranate cultivation. The export potential for these varieties is strong. Significant breakthroughs in pomegranate cultivation, such as rest periods and plant pruning, and the use of plant hormones to achieve better fruit size, have helped to increase the production of quality pomegranate fruits to meet consumers’ demands on the domestic as well as the international market.
Farmers in the districts of Bijapur, Bagalkot, and Koppal effectively export pomegranates through their associations. Intervention by the government in providing technology and training has provided farmers a boost to start pomegranate cultivation even for export purposes. In the northern districts of the state, problems due to diseases like bacterial blight and pomegranate will have hurt the crop late. Intervention in the provision of subsidies to farmers, the construction of production infrastructure, post-harvest management, and marketing and research support will go a long way in growing dryland pomegranate crops and help farmers in earning profits.
DIFFERENT TYPES OF POMEGRANATES GROWN IN INDIA
Maharashtra farmers started growing pomegranates around 25 years ago when the government was encouraging orchards through a job guarantee scheme.
Farmers had grown cereals like jowar (sorghum), bajra (pearl millet), maize and wheat, pulses like chickpea and green gram, and oilseeds (groundnut and sunflower) before the pomegranate program.
Farmers worked hard – many fields monitoring to track progress – learned agriculture, fertilizer and pest control, and how to enter markets.
As we get into the fruit’s commercial part, let us enlighten you about the pomegranate varieties that are grown in India. Naming them one after the other, they are:
- Paper Shelled
- Spanish Ruby
- Ruby and IIHR Selection
MORE ABOUT POMEGRANATE FARMING IN INDIA
The Alandi, or “Vadki,” is one of the most common pomegranate types. As India is home to the finest varieties of fruit, they contain fewer acids and are fresher, as we said earlier. It is not the case with pomegranates found abroad, however. Returning to “Alandi,” it is one that is more or less of average quality. On the inside, it can be either red blood or magenta, with a distinct acidic and sweet flavor. The seeds are hard but still enjoyed.
Our next variety is Bhagwa or Shendria. It is made from crossing Ganesh’s F2 population with pomegranate Gulesha Red. The crossing on the outside makes it appealing, being a shiny red color. Unlike the Alandi, this type of pomegranate is soft seeded.
The third that we are going to talk about is Mridula. It is also mistaken for being identical to another variety called the Ganesh. The insides may, however, differentiate it from other forms. Mridula’s pomegranate’s inside is a rich, dark red color. It weighs from around 250 to 300 grams per fruit.
Now that we’ve briefed you on the status and types of pomegranates in India, we’d like to address the cultivation part of that.
REQUIREMENTS FOR POMEGRANATE FARMING IN INDIA
Following are some of the requirements while doing pomegranate farming in India:
The first thing that comes to mind when it comes to growing something is the demands of the environment. To move forward with Indian pomegranate cultivation, semi-arid conditions that can be grown up to 500 m above ground level will be needed. And essentially, as long as the necessary facilities are available, they can be grown in hot and dry weather as well as in winter. Especially during the time of maturation and growth, these points should be present. Perfectly performed soil, well-drained and in nature sandy pr alluvial, is suitable for the cultivation of pomegranate plants.
Methods Of Pomegranate Farming
The ‘square’ planting approach is suitable for pomegranate farming from a farmer’s perspective. Pits that should be around 60 cm thrice each is sunk into the earth. They are usually kept ready 30 days before commencing the actual planting process. Holding these pits under the sun for about a fortnight will ensure an ideal journey through cultivation. There are plenty of pomegranate-farming tips available, but one of the most relevant is to ensure that termites are used with the appropriate precaution. Make sure to use some sort of prevention during the pit point.
They are filled with about 20 kg of farmyard manure, which is mixed with topsoil and 1 kg of superphosphate after the pits are ready. Then the pits are drained to make the soil settle for planting. Then, the cuttings are carefully positioned, ready for planting. Once this is finished, they should be supported with irrigation. By following the above-mentioned pomegranate farming techniques, those fruits should be well-produced, as experts have provided them.
If you want to learn how to grow pomegranate plants, then this technique will be a good one to follow. Now that we know the cultivation technique and method of planting, we are moving on to maintenance. Thereby we refer to the plantations’ nutritional needs to provide an optimal type of pomegranate tree and fruit.
Nutritional Needs And Maintenance
Several government sources suggest using 600-700 g in the number of fertilizers. Again, manure from the farmyard is entering the play, and 10 kg should be enough. A dose of ammonium sulfate should also be appropriate for a tree that is around five years old. The months of December and January are perfect for ‘ambe bahar’ when applying. May and June seem ideal for Mrig Bahar, though. Next, it takes the months of October and November for Hasta bahar.
Keep in mind that doses of Nitrogen fertilizer should be administered in split doses for the best results during the ‘bahar’ procedure. It will be done at the time of irrigation, and then after three weeks. One of the essential tips for pomegranate farming is to add topsoil over the applied fertilizers, which should be irrigated once more. It is intended to close the deal so that no mishaps are prevented.
During the maintenance, for Mrig Bahar, September and October, for hasta bahar, and January-February for ambe bahar, the flowering of the trees may be induced around June-July.
PRECAUTIONS THAT ONE MUST TAKE IN POMEGRANATE FARMING
Following are some of the precautions that need to be taken while doing pomegranate farming:
Also, insects and other pests seem to kill the hard work that has been put into the cultivation process. It happens particularly for the cultivation of pomegranates. There are, however, a few precautions and medicines that can be provided to ensure plant health—insects such as mealybugs and aphids, which can kill not only the plant but also the fruits.
Some products can be added, depending on the form and extent of the infestation. In the case of insect infestations, dimethoate, deltamethrin or malathion can be sprayed.
Rotting Of Fruit
You can note that often during the planting cycle, fruit tends to rot, or the leaves endure anything called the ‘leaf spot.’ These serve as illnesses that can appear on the way. In these cases, Mancozeb and Kavach are successful.
Land Preparation For Pomegranate Farming
The land for the growing of pomegranates is prepared by extensive plowing. The fracturing of the soil clods, scraping the rubble, and raising the sub-soil to the surface is plowed regularly 3-4 times. Unwanted soil materials are extracted, such as rocks, stones, pebbles, etc. The soil is made of fine-textured soft, loose clay. This move helps to facilitate the movement of air within the soil. Often when plowing, organic matter is mixed with the soil. When plowing has been done, the field is leveled and prepared for planting.
Planting Pomegranate Trees
Pomegranates are propagated by air-layering, or the seed cuttings are planted. The high-density plantation is adopted in temperate regions whereby a plant distance of 5X5 m is preserved. Some farmers also retain 2.5X4.5 m of space. Planting with high density increased the yield by 2.5 times. Quite near spacing, however, must be avoided, because it raises the risk of transmitting infection and contracting the disease.
Pruning Of The Fruit
Granites are conditioned either on a single stem or in a multi-stem. There’s a downside to unique stem preparation. They are more vulnerable to diseases such as stem borer, shoot borer, etc. which would cause the entire crop to lose out. Accordingly, the multi-stage training system is usually followed in India. Land suckers, dead or ill branches, and twigs, cross branches, and so on are periodically pruned. Pruning gives the perfect form to the tree, too. It also enhances the production of new shoots.
Intercropping In Pomegranate Farming
Since pomegranate plants are bushy and intercrops are not grown spreading in nature. Some farmers, therefore, grow other plants because, between two plants, there is a gap of 5 m. Low-growing vegetables and pulses are cultivated in the pomegranate intercropping method. If fodder or rabi crops are grown, then separate irrigation arrangements must be placed in place.
Weed Control Methods
For the pomegranate crop, typically high-density cultivation is practiced. Thus, manual weeding must be done. It is performed twice a year— once during the time of fertilization in May and second in December. Some farmers during the monsoon season spray 0.6 percent of Gramoxone. To stop chemical drifting, spraying must be achieved by holding the nozzle close to the weeds.
Practice Of Pollination In Pomegranate Farming
Three styles of flowers bear pomegranates, viz. Male with primitive ovaries, middle type hermaphrodite, and well-formed type hermaphrodite. The percentage of flowering varies between the varieties followed by the time of plantation (bahar). They both pursue pollination by themselves and by the cross. There is pollen available at noontime. The stigma takes 2-3 days to be responsive.
PSYCHOLOGICAL DEFECTS THAT THE FARMERS BEAR IN POMEGRANATE FARMING
Some of the psychological defects that the farmers bear during pomegranate farming are:
Cracking Of The Fruit
It is the most severe issue concerning the farming of pomegranates. They occur most commonly in fruits planted during the June-July and September-October months. Thus, the fruits crack open doors to fungal contamination, which makes it unfit for consumption. Because of variability in soil moisture and humidity, the main bahar fruits (June-July), crack creates cracks in fruit. Ambe bahar fruits planted during January through February face prolonged conditions of drought. It causes the peel to harden. When the rains come, or the peels start cracking once the irrigation is finished. Highly low temperature during the winter months causes fruit cracking for the cultivations up to bahar.
Breakdown Of The Arils
Arils transform color black or facial discoloration. It is rising in ripened pomegranates. While no remedial steps have been proposed, harvesting the fruits immediately upon ripening has been found to avoid aril breakdown.
Once fully mature, the pomegranates must be plucked. Letting the fruits remain on the trees for more extended periods will cause a breakdown of the aril. They begin to bear fruit within 1-2 years of planting. Nonetheless, commercial production will only start after 2-3 years of farming. Harvesting the unripe fruits will cause quality downgrades. In general, fruits can be selected 120-130 days after sets in fruiting. The calyx at the distal end closes upon maturity. The sides are also removed, and the fruits are yellowish red in color.
Pomegranate cultivation in dryland areas where there is plenty of sunlight available can be very lucrative. Nevertheless, it has some issues with bacteria and root diseases. You will keep an eye on symptoms. If you are going to grow pomegranate on a wide scale then it is advisable to work with professionals.
Pomegranate harvesting begins from flowering to fruit ripening after 150 to 180 days. But that depends on genotype, environment, and increasing area.
Fruit harvesting should be performed at optimum maturity level since early harvesting results from dull, immature, and inadequate fruit ripening, while late harvesting leads to more vulnerable disorder violence. Pomegranate, however, is a non-climacteric fruit that should be harvested at the correct stage of maturation.
Several harvest signs are used to determine the maturity of pomegranate fruits and their production. Medium rose-pink color on the surface and medium pink aril mostly preferred by the consumers will grow.
A maturity index is also the calyx at the bottom of Pomegranate fruits, which is turned inward. Aril is to be changed to dark red or purple. Pomegranate fruits are not to be overmatured.
HOW TO HANDLE POMEGRANATE POST HARVESTING?
Following are some ways to handle pomegranate post-harvesting:
The Fruit Needs Proper Washing And Cleaning
After processing, fruits should be sorted out as they can extract diseased and damaged fruits and pick safe fruits for further care.
After drying, the fruit should be washed in water at a rate of 100ppm with a solution of sodium hypochlorite. This treatment will help to reduce microbial pollution and maintain shelf life longer.
It is a crucial activity before fruit storage, thereby helping to extract critical heat and field heat from the fruit resulting in improved fruit shelf-life.
The forced air cooling method is used for precooling on pomegranate fruits. It should, therefore, be sustained at around 5oC with a relative humidity of 90 percent.
Graded fruits attract and appeal to consumers, which helps to get a higher price from both domestic and international markets.
Pomegranate fruits are commonly rated according to their size and weight. Nonetheless, grading standards differ by region.
Nevertheless, the classification requirements for export as per the National Horticulture Board are as follows.
Temperature is the most critical factor in the shelf-life of pomegranate since pomegranate fruits are perishable, and long-term storage requires an optimum temperature.
The very low temperature will cause freezing fruit injury, so the optimal temperature for fresh pomegranate fruit storage is 6 ° to 7 ° C, and relative humidity is 90 to 95 percent. Pomegranate fruits can store at this temperature for up to 3 months.
Marketing is achieved with the aid of an agent or broker, while its marketing is only possible at a low level of production.
Pomegranate fruits can sell at a wholesale rate of 60 to 80/kg fruits on domestic markets while in the distance market, it gets a higher price of 90 to 150/kg fruits.
Pomegranate is more susceptible to disease and pests Water and fertilizer management are of utmost importance as an excess of both these services could result in excess operating expenses Excess water and fertilizer application could affect the aeration rates at the root systems and thus contribute to the production of excess humidity. As a result, the crop could suffer from fruit cracking, pest attack, soil, and bacterial diseases It requires a large number of activities and operations, which could raise production costs and labor costs.
In conclusion, we would like to brief you on the management process for postharvest. The fruits are rated first according to consistency, color, size, and weight. They are then packed, and they can be kept for up to two months. The granaries are then well packed and transported through trucks and lorries. Now, they’re being sold internationally and even beyond.