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Pomegranate

Booklet No. 80
Fruit production: FPS- 6
Contents
Preface
I.
Introduction
II.
Climate
III.
Soil
IV.
Varieties
V.
Propagation
VII.
Fertilizer Application
VIII. Irrigation
IX.
Intercropping
X.
Training and Pruning
XI.
Bahar Treatment
XII.
Disease Control
XIII. Pest Control
XIV. Flowering and Fruiting
XV.
Harvesting and Yield
XVI. Marketing and Storage
XVII. Cracking of Fruits
XVIII. Uses and Composition
XIX. Economics of Cultivation
Preface
pomegranate is drought hardy with low maintenance cost, steady, with good yield, fine
table and therapeutic values and better keeping qualities. Besides, the fact that the plant enters
into a rest period when irrigation potential is low, indicates the opportunities for raising
pomegranate especially in the hot semi-arid -and desert regions of India. The package of
practices for pomegranate cultivation has been described in detail including latest research
developments, in this booklet.
Dr. K. T. Chandy, Agricultural and Environmental Education
I. Introduction
The pomegranate (Punica granatum) belonging to the family Punicaceae is a very
popular sub-tropical fruit. It is very much liked for its cool refreshing juice and also valued for its
medicinal properties. The fruit is native of Iran and is extensively cultivated in Mediterranean
countries such as Spain, Morocco, Egypt, Iran, Afghanistan and Baluchistan. It is also grown to
some extent in Burma, China, Japan, the USA and India. In India, there are 1200 hectares in the
state of Maharashtra alone. The other states in India where pomegranate cultivation is important
are Andhra pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kanataka and Gujarat. The fruits are mainly
used for dessert purposes. The Varietal adaptability, hardy nature, low maintenance cost, steady
and high yields, better keeping quality and possibility of resting the plants when irrigation is not
possible, make pomegranate cultivation a paying proposition.
II. Climate

It can adapt itself to a wide range of climatic conditions but is grown successfully in
areas of cool winters and hot and dry summers. It can grow from the plains to an elevation of
about 1829 m. The tree can withstand frost but temperature below 11. 1C is injurious. High
temperature is beneficial at the ripening period which produces sweet fruits. The quality of the
fruit is adversely affected in humid climate. The tree is hardy in nature and can withstand
drought to a considerable extent, but does well when enough irrigation is given.
III. Soil
The pomegranate shows wide adaptability to varying soil conditions. It grows best on
deep, rather heavy loam and alluvial soils which are ideal for its cultivation. It can tolerate soils
which are limy and slightly alkaline. It can also be grown in medium or light black soils.
IV. Varieties
In northern India, there are no well recognized commercial varieties of pomegranate. In
western India, two types, locally known as Alandi and Dholka, are mainly grown. An improved
variety known as GBG-No. 1 has been selected from the seedling progeny. Following are some
improved varieties.
1. Ganesh (GBG. No. I)
Ganesh is a popular variety of Maharashtra. It possesses pink flesh, soft seeds and is
sweet with agreeable taste and medium sized fruits. It is a good cropper.
2. Musket
This variety is largely grown in Kohar Rahuri region of Ahmednagar district in
Maharashtra from seedlings and as a result there is a lot of variation. The seeds are light pink in
colour. The fruits are tasty. It is a good cropper.
3. Alandi
The variety is named after the name of the village it was grown extensively. The fruits
are medium in size and the seeds are blood red in colour. The seeds are hard and as such, less
preferred by the consumers. It gives less yield as compared to other varieties.
4. Dholka
The fruits are big in size. The flesh is pinkish white, seeds are soft, but the juice is acidic.
It is a medium cropper.
In South India, four varieties such as Paper Shell, Spanish Ruby, Musket and Vellodu
have shown considerable promise at Kodur (Andhra Pradesh).
5. Paper Shell
This is a prolific bearer producing medium sized fruits with thick skin. The grains are
medium to large, and the seeds are quite soft, reddish to pink in colour with good flavour.
6. Spanish Ruby
This is also a prolific bearer, bearing small to medium sized fruits with thin skin. The
grains are small to medium in size with soft seeds.
7. Musket Red

The fruits are small to medium with thin or moderately thick skin. The seeds are soft and
flesh is juicy and sweet.
8. Vellodu
This variety does not bear as heavily as others. Fruits are medium to large with
moderately thick skin. The grains are medium in size and quite juicy, but the seeds are hard.
V. Propagation
Propagation by seed is discouraged because the plants raised from seeds do not bear
fruit of uniform quality and yield low and poor quality fruits. The commercial vegetative method
of propagation is by cuttings (hard wood cutting). The cuttings, preferably 8 to 10 cm long,
should be obtained from fully mature wood about one year old. The best time of making the
cutting is December-January when the plants shed leaves. The cuttings are planted in the
nursery fields with not more than one third of the cutting being exposed. The plants are usually
ready for transplanting within nine months. Ground layering and root suckers are other methods
used for multiplying the pomegranate plants.
1. Land preparation
The land selected for pomegranate cultivation is thoroughly and deeply ploughed
followed by 3 to 4 cultivations and harrowings. Planting is done in well pre- pared pits of 1/2 cu.
m. size. The pit should be filled with about 20 kg farmyard manure mixed with fine soil. This
should be done before the rainy season in the southern and western India, whereas in northern
India, it can be done by the beginning of January.
2. Planting
The planting of the rooted cuttings in the main field may be done during monsoon. The
plants are removed from the nursery with a ball of earth and most of the leaves as well as the
side shoots are pruned off. The layout is done according to square or hexagonal system and
plant- ing is done 3 to 6 m apart. Light irrigation should be given immediately after planting.
Rooted cuttings or air-layers are planted in pits at the required distance and filled with 20 kg
farmyard manure with fine soil.
VI. Fertilizer Application
At the time of planting, well rotted farmyard manure @ 20 kg per tree is usually applied
to pomegranate plants and this is continuously given to each plant every year at the break of
monsoon. For 4-6 years old bearing trees, 500 g N, 250 g P 205 and 250 g K2O plant have been
found to give good yield. However, 50 kg farmyard manure and 3-5 kg oilcake or 1 kg sulphate
of ammonia prior to flowering are recommended for healthy growth as well as fruiting. Apply the
farmyard manure and half the dose of ammonium sulphate at the time of bahar treat- ment. The
remaining dose of ammonium sulphate should be given one month after the application of the
first dose.
VII. Irrigation
The young plants require regular irrigation for their establishment and to start new
growth. In northern India, where planting is done during spring, regular water- ing may be given
every 7 to 10 days till the onset of monsoon. However, in other areas where planting is done
during monsoon, irrigation may be given whenever there is no rain for a week or 10 days. The
bed or basin system of irrigation is usually practised. Withhold irrigation 2.5 to 3 months before

bahar treatment. The fruit cracks if there is irregularity in irrigation during fruit development and,
therefore, copious and regular irrigation is essential during fruiting season.
VIII. Intercropping
Growing of intercrops in pomegranate orchard is highly profitable as the tree takes about
4 to 5 years to come to good bearing. Vegetable and fodder crops can be successfully grown.
Suitable vegetables are cucurbits, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, pea, tomato, carrot, onion,
radish, potato and brinjal. Fodder crops such as berseem, lucerne and legume crops like
cowpea, moong, urd etc can also be grown. The growing of intercrops should be so planned
that the orchard is not irrigated when the trees are to be rested.
IX. Training and Pruning
There are two methods of training the pomegranate viz single stem and multi stem
training. The young I plants are properly trained to form a single stem with a number of well
distributed scaffold limbs. Single stem is achieved by removing all the side shoots at the time of
planting. On this main stem, 3-4 main branches are allowed to grow about 60-70 cm from the
ground level. The second is multi stem system in which naturally arising stems are kept. The
tree in this system becomes crowdy. Pomegranate requires less pruning except for the removal
of suckers and giving a shape to the tree. The side branches are pruned and the tree is allowed
to grow on a clean main stem. The fruits are borne terminally on short branches known as
spurs. The older spurs which have lost the capacity of fruit bearing and also those shoots which
interfere with others should be removed. It is desirable to encourage new growth on 1 to 3 years
old wood.
X. Bahar Treatment
In pomegranate, there are three main flowering sea- sons viz. Ambe bahar, (FebruaryMarch), Mrig bahar (June-July) coinciding with the break of monsoon and Hasth bahar
(September-October). Only one bahar is taken from the tree and the season of fruiting to be
adopted is mainly determined by the market factor and the availability of water. The bahar
treatment consists in with- holding water supply for about two months before the normal
flowering season to produce fresh growth and blossoms resulting in a heavy crop yield. After
two months, soil is mixed with manure and light irrigation is given.
In Maharashtra, there is a continuous flowering, but the Ambe bahar (flowering in
January-February) is taken. The fruits of this bahar are harvested in the second half of Mayor In
the first of June. The advantage in taking Ambe bahar fruits is that the climate remains dry and ,
warm to hot during the fruit development and ripening. 1 There is less attack of pests and
diseases. Moreover, the fruits are of good quality and possess attractive red colour. The Ambe
bahar crop is less susceptible to cracking than 1.. the crops of other bahars. Where the irrigation
facilities are not available, the Mrig bahar is recommended.
XI. Disease Control
1. Fruit spot
This disease is caused by a fungus. The fruits show the symptoms of small irregular
spots surrounded by greenish yellow borders. Later on these spots turn into strips, and the
seeds below the rind become brownish in colour thus rendering the fruit unmarketable.

Control
(a) Prune the dead and affected twigs or branches. (b) Spray Dithane M-45 or Captan (500 gm
in 200 litres of water) after the fruit set. Generally 3-4 spraying are needed at 15 days intervals.
2. Fruit rot
It is also a fungal disease and is of common occurrence during the rainy season. The
flowers affected by this disease fail to set fruits and young fruits drop. The disease on the fruits
is characterized by yellow or black spots all over the fruit, concentrated on the point of
attachment of the fruit to the twig. The affected fruits remain immature, under-sized, lose the
lustre and finally become soft and start rotting.
Control
(a) Prune all infected twigs and fruits and burn them. (b) Dithane M-45 or Captan should be
sprayed at an interval of 15 days.
3. Leaf spot
This disease starts as minute, dull violet black or black spots. Soon the region
surrounding the spot turn yellow, these spots coalesce to from bigger spots. Later, major part of
the leaf becomes spotted and the leaf falls off. The fruits show dark brown to black depressed
spots, which enlarge and coalesce covering the large portion of the fruit.
Control
(a) Spraying of Bavistin or JK Stein. 0.1 % at 20 days interval is quite effective. (b) Mixing of
antibiotics like Agrimycin or Paushamycin with above fungicides will control both bacterial and
fungal infections.
XII. Pest Control
1. Pomegranate butterfly
It is an important and destructive pest widely distributed allover India, wherever
pomegranate is grown. The caterpillars bore into flower buds and fruits and feed on the pulp
and seeds just below the rinds. The cater- pillars come out of fruit making hole on the fruit
surface which becomes the site for fungal or bacterial attack causing fruit to rot.
Control
Application of Metacid or Carbaryl 0.2 % or Phosphamidon 0.3 % at fortnightly interval is
effective.
2. Bark eating caterpillar
The caterpillar bores the bark of the tree and feeds inside. The attack by this pest is
common in the orchards which are not well maintained and looked after the affected trees bear
fruits.
Control
(a) Keeping the orchards clean and avoiding over- crowding of trees helps to minimize the
attack by this borer. (b) Clean the affected portion and insert in each hole a swab of cotton wool
soaked in carbon di-sulphide, petrol or even kerosene 011 and seal the holes with mud.
3. Stem borer

Stem borer is a common insect found in neglected orchards. The caterpillar bores
through the branches by making a hole. The trunk or main branches are affected. The presence
of the pest is noticed by a small hole in the bark and dried excreta outside the hole.
Control
(a) Clean the hole and remove the insect by inserting a hooked wire into the holes.
(b) Clean the hole and insert into each hole a swab of cotton wool soaked in carbon disulphide,
petrol or even kerosene oil and seal the hole with mud.
4. Leaf eating caterpillars :
The leaves of pomegranate are often attacked by these! caterpillars. The caterpillar
feeds on the chlorophyll and voraciously feed on the entire leaf lamina. In case of severe
infestation, the young trees may be completely defoliated.
Control
Spray of Metacid or Rogor checks the pests.
5. Sap sucking insects
These insects include mealy bugs, scale insects, thrips, aphids, mites etc. Mealy bugs
and scale insects can be controlled by pruning and destroying the affected parts of the initial
stage of attack itself. Spraying 0.04 % Diazinon or Monocrotophos will be effective. While flies
and aphids suck the cell sap from leaves and tender twigs making them discoloured and
distorted. The thrips tear roughly the leaves, flower stalks, petals and sepals and rasp the sap
that oozes out of these wounds. Curling of the leaf tip, shedding of flowers, and severely
reduced fruiting occur.
Spray 0.03 % Dimethoate or Phosphamidon, two spraying at an interval of 11-15 days.
Keep the pest in complete control.
XIII. Flowering and Fruiting
Pomegranate tree can flower throughout the year depending upon the climatic
conditions. However, three main flowering seasons are distinct viz. Mrig bahar (June- July),
Ambe bahar (Feb.-March) and Hasth bahar (Sep- ember-October). Only one bahar is taken
from a tree to get good quality fruits.
The trees begin to bear fruit in the fourth year and is ready for harvesting 5 to 7 months
after the appearance of blossoms. In deciduous varieties, flowers are borne on the current
season's growth between July and August, while in evergreen varieties, flower buds of the
spring flush are borne on mature wood of the previous seasons growth. The flowers which
appear during July-August are borne on the current years growth. Both self and crosspollination is known in pomegranate.
XIV. Harvesting and Yield
The fruits become ready for harvesting 5-7 months after the appearance of blossoms.
They are harvested I with the help of secateurs when the rind attains the yellowish brown colour
and the fruit gives a metallic sound when tapped. Usual practice among the growers is to pick
the fruits when they are slightly under-ripe so as to avoid the loss due to cracking. Each tree
bears about 100 fruits per year and continues to give economic crop upto 30 years.

XV. Marketing and Storage


After harvesting, the fruits are graded according to i the size and are packed in bamboobaskets or light wooden boxes. Dry grass is used at the bottom and top of the basket or box to
set as a packing material. Packing in such a manner enables the fruits to be transported over
long distances.
The keeping quality of the pomegranate fruits is good and it keeps well for a long time.
Fruits can be kept fresh without spoilage and shrinkage by storing them at a temperature of 0 to
4.5C with 80-85 % relative humidity. Spraying with 2 % lypol solution is also effective to
increase the storage life of the fruits.
XVI. Cracking of Fruits
Fruit cracking in pomegranate is a physiological phenomenon. It is due to the hardening
of the skin of the fruit during long dry period and then sudden expansion in the volume of inner
part of the fruit after rain or heavy irrigation. Regular and light irrigation throughout the fruiting
season and improving the water retention capacity of the soil by adding organic manures
prevent fruit cracking to a large extent.
XVII. Uses and Composition
The pomegranate is commercially grown for its sweet acidic fruits which are mainly used
for dessert purposes. The fresh fruit is of exquisite quality, while its processed products such as
bottle juices, syrups and jelly are highly appreciated. Anar rub is a product locally prepared from
the juice by adding sugar and heating to a thick viscous consistency. 'Anar Dana' is another
popular product of pomegranate fruits.
Various industrial and medicinal uses of pomegranate are described below:
1. Industrial importance
(a) It is used for tanning leather as tanning occurs in all parts of the tree particularly in fruit rind,
stem bark, root bark and leaves and is used alone or mixed with synthetic tannins.
(b) The rind of pomegranate is also the source of a dye which gives yellowish brown to khaki
shades and has been used for dyeing wool and silk.
(c) The flowers yield a light red dye which is used for dyeing cloth in India.
(d) Alkaloids of the pyridine group are obtained from the bark of the stem and root.
(e) The dried seeds of the wild anar give an important condiment called 'anar dana'.
2. Medicinal importance
(a) The juice is known to be cooling and refreshing and is useful for patients suffering from
leprosy.
(b) The bark and rind of the fruit are commonly used in dysentery and diarrhoea.
Pomegranate fruit contains about 60 % edible portion. Its edible portion is nutritionally
very rich. The amount of different nutrients found in pomegranate fruit is given I in the Table-I.
Table 1: Composition of pomegranate fruit
Sl.No

Components

Amount

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12

Moisture
Protein
Fat
Carbohydrates
Fibre
Mineral matter
Calcium
Magnesium
Oxalic acid
Phosphorus
Iron
Ascorbic acid

78 %
1.6 %
0.1 %
14.5 %
5.1 %
0.7 %
10 mg/100 gm
12 mg/100 gm
14 mg/100 gm
70 mg/100 gm
0.3 mg/100 gm
14 mg/100 gm

XVIII. Economics of Cultivation


With the introduction of improved varieties such as 'Ganesh', cultivation of pomegranate
has become highly profitable. The added advantage with pomegranate fruit is its comparatively
hard cover and wide soil and climatic adaptability.
Cost of cultivation of pomegranate varies from region to region depending upon the
prevailing market prices, varieties grown, labour availability and other production inputs. For
calculating the profits per hectare from pomegranate orcharding, the format given below can be
used.
A. Fixed cost
1. Cost of the land Rs. .
2. Cost of farm building, storage, structure, etc. Rs. .
3. Cost of fencing/walls Rs. .
4. Cost of windbreaks Rs. .
5. Cost of clearing leveling and bunding of the land Rs. .
6. Cost of lay-out Rs. .
7. Cost of digging and filling pits Rs. .
8. Cost of machines, instruments and other accessories Rs. .
9. Cost of planting material (including causalities) Rs. .
10. Cost of roads and paths Rs. .
B. Recurring cost
1. Cost of manures and fertilizers Rs. .
2. Cost of insecticides, fungicides and weedicides Rs. .
3. Cost of farm power
(a) Diesel, petrol and electricity Rs. .
(b) Livestock and their feed Rs. .
4. Cost of transportation Rs. .
5. Cost of farm labour (paid and unpaid) Rs. .
(a) Land preparation Rs. .
(b) Irrigation Rs. .
(c) Weeding Rs. .
(d) Application of fertilizers and manures Rs. .
(e) Other intercultural operations Rs.. .
(f) Harvesting Rs. .

(g) Grading and processing Rs. .


(h) Storing and marketing Rs. .
6. Interest on fixed cost (@ 10%) Rs. .
7. Rent or revenue on the land Rs. .
8. Depreciation
(a) Farm structure Rs. .
(b) Farm machinery Rs. .
9. Repairs and maintenance Rs. .
Total recurring cost Rs. .
C. Income
1. Yield of the fruits Rs. .
2. Yield of woods, and other materials Rs. .
Gross income Rs. .
Net profit = Gross income -Total recurring cost
Purchase value -Junk value
Depreciation = ----------------------------------------------life span
Note: Junk value is calculated only on those articles which are saleable after their life
apan. The life span of farm building and farm machinery is 15 and 10 years respectively.
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