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Pomegranate Cultivation under Arid and Semi-Arid Region of Rajasthan

Introduction

Pomegranate is as most important arid fruit crop of Rajasthan. Now a day’s pomegranate farming is a best business for the farmers to earn more profit in less expense. Pomegranate is a delicious and juicy fruit which is a good source of carbohydrate, calcium, iron andsulphur elements.  Pomegranate is utilized as fresh fruit and processed products, such as bottled juice, syrup,  jelly etc.  Seeds are dried and sold as anardana, which is used as acidulant for cooking. Its juice is mainly used for reduce the risk of leprosy.

Varieties or cultivars:-

Important cultivars of pomegranate for Rajasthan condition are Ganesh, Dholka, Bassein Seedless, Muskat, Jalore Seedless, Jodhpur Red, Ruby, Paper Shell, Goma Khatta and Bhagwa.

Soil and climate

Pomegranate is a subtropical fruit plant which is tolerant to frost as well as drought. It is as evergreen in subtropical or Rajasthan condition which prefers hot and dry climate for good fruit production.

For pomegranate cultivation well drained, rich in organic matter, deep sandy loam soil should be preferred. It is salt hardy fruit tree and also tolerant to slightly alkaline soils

Propagation

Pomegranate is commercially propagated by hard-wood cutting and gootee. Now days, a tissue culture method is also useful for development of pomegranate plants.

Planting

Planting of pomegranate is usually done in July- august, however where proper facilities of irrigation is available its planting should also done in the month February- March.

Pits of 60 x 60 x 60 cm size are dig at 5 x 5 m spacing, about a month before planting. Pit filling should be done with FYM and fertile soil in the ratio of 1:1 and 50 -100 g/pit chloropyriphos dust also added for prevention of termite.

Training & Pruning

In pomegranate multi-stem training system is used to reduce the risk of attack of stem borer.

Pomegranate does not require pruning except for removal of suckers, water sprouts, dead and diseased branches and developing a sound framework of the tree.

Irrigation

Pomegranate is drought tolerant fruit plant. During winter season at 20-25 days interval and in summer season irrigation should be given at 7-10 days interval. Now a day’s drip irrigation is also successful for pomegranate irrigation, it saves 45 % water and also increase yield up to 30-35 per cent.

Manure and fertilizers:

Apply manure and fertilizers to pomegranate plants for Rajasthan condition is given in the following table:

Plant age (years)

FYM (Kg/Plant)

Urea (g/Plant)

Super Phosphate (g/Plant)

MOP

(g/Plant)

1

10

100

250

500

2

20

200

500

500

3

30

300

750

1000

4

40

400

1000

1500

5 or more

50

500

1250

1500

Micronutrients such  as Zn,  Mn, Fe, B, Mo etc. play important role in various  enzymatic  activities ranging from  cell division  to  respiration, photosynthesis, chlorophyll formation, enzyme  activity hormone synthesis, nitrogen-fixation and reduction. Sometimes deficiency of these micronutrients, maylead  to major  maladies in plants.  These also enhance uptake of major elements. Spray  0.4%  zinc  sulphate  + 0.4% boric acid + 0.4% ferrous sulphate to increase in diameter of fruit,  fruit  weight, fruit  volume,  number  of  arils per fruit, fruit per cent, number  of fruits/ plant and yield.

Flowering (Crop regulation)

In pomegranate there are three flowering seasons throughout the year.The areas where water is scare during the hot weather like Rajasthan condition, mrigbahar is preferred. For mrigbahar, treatment of withholding irrigation from December to April resulted in sufficient flowering in June- July.

Name of Crop

Flowering  time

Time of Harvesting

AmbiaBahar

February- March

July- August

MrigBahar

June- July

November- December

Hasta Bahar

September- October

March- April

Harvesting and yield

Pomegranate fruits are harvested 5-6 months after flowering. The maturity of fruits can be judged by change in skin colour to slightly yellow and metallic sound when tapping. Pomegranate fruit tree commercially yield after 4-5 years and gives 20-22 kg fruits per plant. Pomegranate fruits should be stored for one month at 4.5oC temperature and 80-85 % relative humidity.

Plant protection:

Fruit cracking

It is most serious disorder of pomegranate, which limits it cultivation. It is due to boron deficiency and heavy rains after a prolonged drought period. Application of 0.2% boric acid reduced the influence of fruit cracking.

Pomegranate butterfly (virachola (deudorix) isocratus):

It is a most damaging incest of pomegranate which cause up to 50-90% loses. The most important symptoms of damage are offensive smell and excretes of caterpillar’s coming out of the entry holes. Fruit wrapping and bagging is control of pomegranate butterfly.

Bacterial blight or oil spot disease:

Now a day it is a most burring problem of pomegranate cultivation.  It is a bacterial disease (Xanthomonasaxonopodispv. punicae) of pomegranate. The major symptoms of blight is brown coloured oily spots appears on leaves, twigs and fruits.  Spray copper oxychloride 3 g/ L and streptocyclin @ 250 ppm for control of pomegranate blight.

References

Bhandari, D.C., Meghwal, P.R. and Lodha, S. 2014. Horticulture Based Production System in India Arid Regions. Sustainable Horticulture Systems Issues, Springer International Publishing, Switerzeland, pp 19-28.

Jain, P.K. and Parmar, K.L. 1993. Response in hardwood cuttings of pomegranate treated with rooting media, IBA and Boron. JNKVV Research Journal. 27(1): 56-58.

Prasad, R.N.2000. Varietal Evaluation of Pomegranate under Arid Conditions. Annals of Arid Zone,39(4):427-430.

Prasad, R.N.2003. Cultivating Pomegranate in Arid Region Scientifically. AGRIS, 47(4): 26-27.

Sharma, S.K., Singh, R.S. and Bhargava, R.2013. Arid Horticulture: An Overview. Annals of Arid Zone,52(3&4), 251-264.





Writer :: Ramesh Chand Choudhary, Hitesh Agarwal, Pratishtha Diwaker and Pushpendra Singh      Published on :: 01-Mar-2019


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