1.                  INTRODUCTION

Pomegranate (Punica granatum) is one of the commercially important fruit crops of India. It is native to Iran (Persia).


2.                  OBJECTIVE
The main objective of this report is to present a one acre bankable model for high quality commercial cultivation of the crop. 
3.                  BACKGROUND


3.1              Area & Production

Pomegranate is cultivated commercially only in Maharashtra. Small scale plantations are also seen in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu , Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana.


3.2              Economic Importance
Fruit is consumed fresh or in the form of juice, jam, squash and syrup. Among all forms, canned slices and juice are in much demand in India, constituting about 70% of the production. 



4.1              Export/Import Trends


India exports pomegranate mainly to Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., Netherlands etc.Varieties which are in demand internationally include Ganesh and Aarakta. The trend in export of pomegranate from India during the period 1999-2000 to 2001-02 is given in Graph 1.






Table-1 : Country-wise export ofpomegranate from India during 2001-02.






(Rs.in lakhs)



















Saudi Arabia









Source: APEDA, New Delhi
















4.2              Analysis and Future Strategy


Development of infrastructure facilities for transport to primary markets, standardization of packaging techniques are aspects which need special attention.Processing facilities also need to be created in the major producing states for value addition.


5.                  PRODUCTION TECHNOLOGY


5.1              Agro-climatic requirements


Pomegranate grows well under semi-arid conditions and can be grown upto an altitude of 500 m. above m.s.l.. It thrives well under hot, dry summer and cold winter provided irrigation facilities are available. The tree requires hot and dry climate during fruit development and ripening. Pomegranate tree is deciduous in areas of low winter temperature and an evergreen or partially deciduous in tropical and sub-tropical conditions. It can tolerate frost to a considerable extent in dormant stage, but is injured at temperature below - 110 C.


Well drained, sandy loan to deep loamy or alluvial soils is suitable for cultivation.


5.2              Varieties Cultivated


Important pomegranate varieties cultivated in India are Alandi or Vadki, Dholka, Kandhari, Kabul, Muskati Red, Paper Shelled, Spanish Ruby, Ganesh (GB I), G 137, P 23, P 26, Mridula, Aarakta, Jyoti, Ruby, IIHR Selection, Yercaud 1 and Co 1.



5.3              Land Preparation


Land is prepared by ploughing, harrowing, leveling and removing weeds.


5.4              Planting


5.4.1        Planting Material


Pomegranate is propagated vegetatively by cuttings, air layering or gootee.


5.4.2        Planting season


Air layering is usually done during the rainy season and also in November-December.Planting is usually done in spring (February-March) and July-August in sub-tropical and tropical regions respectively.


5.4.3        Spacing


High density planting is adopted in temperate regions. A spacing of 5-6 m. in northern India and also in the plains of Deccan plateau is usually followed. High density planting with a spacing gives 2-2.5 times more yield than that obtained when the normal planting distance of 5 X 5 m. is adopted. Farmers have adopted a spacing of 2.5 X 4.5 m. Closer spacing increases disease and pest incidence.


5.4.4        Planting Method


Square system of planting is mostly adopted. Planting distance is decided on the basis of soil type and climate. A spacing of 4-5 m. on marginal and very light soils is recommended.


Pits of 60 X 60 X 60 cm. size are dug (at a spacing of 5 cm. in square system) about a month prior to planting and kept open under the sun for a fortnight. About 50 g. of 5% BHC or carbaryl dust is dusted on the bottom and sides of the pits as a pre-caution against termites. The pits are filled with top soil mixed with 20 kg. farmyard manure and 1 kg. super phosphate. After filling the pit, watering is done to allow soil to settle down. Cuttings/air layers are then planted and staked. Irrigation is provided immediately after planting.

5.5              Nutrition


The recommended fertilizer dose is 600-700 g. N, 200-250 g. P2O5 and 200-250 g. K2O /tree/year. Application of 10 kg. farmyard manure and 75 g. ammonium sulphate to 5 year old tree annually is adequate , whereas application of 50 kg. farmyard manure and 3.5 kg. oil cake or 1 kg. sulphate of ammonia prior to flowering is ideal for healthy growth and fruiting.The time of application is December/January for ambe bahar, May/June for Mrig bahar and October/November for hasthe bahar.


The basal dose of farmyard manure @ 25-40 cart-loads /ha. besides the recommended doses of N, P and K should be applied to non-bearing trees in 3 split doses coinciding with growth of flushes during January, June and September. Fruiting should be encouraged from fourth year onwards. Nitrogenous fertilizer is applied in two split doses starting at the time of first irrigation after bahar treatment and next at 3 weeks interval, whereas full dose of P and K should be applied at one time. These should be applied in a shallow circular trench below tree canopy not beyond a depth of 8-10 cm. After application, fertilizers are covered with top soil and irrigated.


5.6              Irrigation


First irrigation is provided in case of mrig bahar crop in the middle of May followed by regular irrigation till the monsoon sets in. Weekly irrigation in summers and that during winters at fortnightly intervals is recommended. The check basin system of irrigation is usually followed.


5.6.1        Drip Irrigation


The average annual water requirement through drip irrigation is 20 cm. Drip irrigation helps to save 44% on irrigation and 64% when sugarcane trash mulch is used. It also helps to increase the yield by 30-35%.


5.7              Training


Plants are trained on a single stem or in multi-stem system. Since the crops trained on single stem training system are more susceptible to pests viz. stem borer and shoot hole borer, the other system is more prevalent in the country.



5.8              Pruning


Pruning is not much required except for removal of ground suckers , water shoots, cross branches , dead and diseased twigs and also to give shape to the tree. A little thinning and pruning of old spurs is done to encourage growth of new ones.


5.9              Inter-cropping


Inter-cropping with low growing vegetables, pulses or green manure crops is beneficial. In arid regions, inter-cropping is possible only during the rainy season, whereas winter vegetables are feasible in irrigated areas.


5.10          Regulation of bearing
Pomegranate plants flower and provide fruits throughout the year in central and southern India. Depending on patterns of precipitation, flowering can be induced during June-July (mrig bahar), September-October (hasta bahar) and January-February (ambe bahar). In areas having assured rainfall where precipitation is normally received in June and continues upto September, flowering in June is advantageous; where monsoon normally starts in August, flowering during August is beneficial. Areas having assured irrigation potential during April-May, flowering during January can be taken and where monsoon starts early and withdraws by September induction of flowering in October is possible. Considering comparable yields, prices and irrigation needs it is recommended that October cropping could be substituted for January flowering.
5.11          Plant Protection Measures
5.11.1    Insect Pests
Insect pests mostly observed are fruit borer, mealy bugs, aphids, white fly and fruit sucking moths. Spraying with dimethoate , deltamethrin or malathion etc. depending upon the type of pest infestation has been found to be effective in most cases.
5.11.2    Diseases

The main diseases reported are leaf spot and fruit rot. Application of Mancozeb (2g./l.) during rainy season in case of the former and application of Kavach (2g./l) and Carbendazim/Thiophanate methyl/Baycor/Benomyl (1g./l.) during September/October in case of the latter has been found to be effective in most cases.


5.11.3    Disorders


Fruit cracking is a serious disorder. This physiological disorder observed in young fruits is due to boron deficiency and that in fully grown fruits is mainly due to moisture imbalances. Tolerant varieties viz. Bedana Bose and Khog may be cultivated and in other cases spraying with calcium hydroxide soon after fruit set has been found to be beneficial.


5.12          Harvestingand Yield


Pomegranate being a non-climacteric fruit should be picked when fully ripe. Pomegranate plants take 4-5 years to come into bearing.Harvesting of immature or over mature fruits affects the quality of the fruits. The fruits become ready for picking 120-130 days after fruit set. The calyx at the distal end of the fruit gets closed on maturity. At maturity, the fruits turn yellowish-red and get suppressed on sides.


6.                  POST HARVEST MANAGEMENT


6.1              Grading


Fruits are graded on the basis of their weight, size and colour. The various grades are super, king, queen and prince-sized. Besides that, pomegranates are also graded into two grades- 12A and 12 B. Fruits of 12-A grade are generally preferred in southern and northern region.


6.2              Storage


Fruits can be stored in cold storage upto 2 months or 10 weeks at a temperature of 50 C. Longer storage should be at 100 C and 95% RH to avoid chilling injury and weight loss.


6.3              Packing


The size of packages varies according to the grade of the fruits. Corrugated fibre board boxes are mostly used. In a single box, 4-5 queen sized fruits, 12 prince sized and some of 12-A and 12-B grades may be packed. The white coloured boxes having 5 plies are generally used for export purpose, whereas red-coloured ones having 3 plies are used for domestic markets. The red coloured boxes are cheaper than white coloured ones. The cut pieces of waste paper are generally used as cushioning material.


6.4              Transportation


Road transport by trucks/lorries is the most convenient mode of transport due to easy approach from orchards to the market.


6.5              Marketing


Majority of the growers sell their produce either through trade agents at village level or commission agents at the market.


7.                  TECHNOLOGY SOURCES


Major sources for technology are:


(i)                  Indian Institute of Horticultural Research, Hessarghatta, Bangalore-560089, Karnataka.

(ii)                Directorate of Horticulture, Shivajinagar, Pune, Maharashtra-560003.

(iii)               Directorate of Horticulture, Lalbagh, Bangalore, Karnataka.

(iv)              Progressive growers of Maharashtra.




























8.                  ECONOMICS OF A ONE ACRE MODEL


8.1              High quality commercial cultivation of crop by using high quality planting material and drip irrigation leads to multiple benefits viz.


                     Synchronizedgrowth, flowering and harvesting;

                     Reduction in variation of off-type and non-fruit plants;

                     Improved fruit quality;


Costs & Returns


8.2              A one acre plantation of the crop is a viable proposition.Project cost of the model, along with the basis for costing are exhibited in Annexures I & II.†† A summary of the project cost is given in the table below.


Cost Components of a One Acre Model Pomegranate Plantation


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††† (Amount in Rs.)

Sl. No.


Proposed Expenditure


Cultivation Expenses




Cost of planting material




Manures & fertilizers




Insecticides & pesticides




Cost of Labour




Others, if any, (Power)




Sub Total







Tube-well/submersible pump




Cost of Pipeline




Others, if any




Sub Total



Cost of Drip/Sprinkler







Store & Pump House




Labour shed




Agriculture Equipments &Implements




Others, if any, please specify




Sub Total



Land Development




Soil leveling












Others, if any, please specify




Sub Total



Land, if newly purchased (Please indicate the year)*



Grand Total


†††††††† *Cost of newly purchased land will be limited to one-tenth of the total project cost


8.3              The major components of the model are:


                     Land Development:(Rs.4.0 thousand):This is the labour cost of shaping and dressing the land site.

                     Fencing (Rs.29.6 thousand): It is necessary to safeguard the orchard by a barbed wire fencing.

                     Irrigation Infra-structure (Rs.45.0 thousand):For effective working with drip irrigation system, it is necessary to install a bore well with diesel/electric pumpset and motor.This is post cost of tube-well.

                     Drip Irrigation (Rs.20.0 thousand):This is average cost of one acre drip system for apple inclusive of the cost of fertigation equipment.The actual cost will vary depending on location, plant population and plot geometry.

                     Implements (Rs.10.0 thousand):For investment on improved manually operated essential implements a provision of another Rs.10 thousand is included.

                     Building and Storage (Rs.35.0 thousand):A one acre orchard would require minimally a labour shed and a store-cum grading/packing room & pump house.

                     Cost of Cultivation (Rs.31.40 thousand):Land preparation and planting operations will involve 300 days of manual labour, the cost of which will come to Rs.8.8 thousand.The cost of planting material (200 plants per acre) works out to Rs.4.0 thousand @ Rs.20.0 per plant.


8.4              Labour cost has been put at an average of Rs.70 per man-day.The actual cost will vary from location to location depending upon minimum wage levels or prevailing wage levels for skilled and unskilled labour.







Since the orchard would be start giving yield from 5th year onwards, it is proposed to take up inter-cropping particularly off season vegetables which would cost Rs.10000/- per acre and would yield on average 6 tonnes/acre valued at Rs.30000.


8.5              Recurring Production Cost: Recurring production costs are exhibited in Annexure III.The main components are planting material, land preparation, inputs application (FYM, fertilizers, micro-nutrients liming material, plant protection chemicals etc.), power and labour on application of inputs, inter-cultural and other farm operations.


8.6              Returns from the Project:The yield from the plantation is obtained from 5th year onwards.The yield goes up from 4.0 tonnes per acre in the 5th year to 7 tonnes per acre in the 8th year onwards.Valued at Rs.15,000 per tonne the return goes up from Rs.0.60 lakhs to Rs.1.05 lakhs (Vide Annexure-III).


Project Financing


8.7†††††† Balance Sheet:The projected balance sheet of the model is given at Annexure IV.There would be three sources of financing the project as below:


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Source†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††† Rs. Thousand


††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Farmerís share (50%)††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 87.50

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Capital subsidy (20%)†††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††††† 35.00

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Term loan††††††† †† (30%)†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† 52.50

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Total†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† ††††††††† 175.00


8.8              Profit & Loss Account:The cash flow statement may be seen in Annexure V. ††Annexure VI projects the profit and loss account of the model.Gross profit goes up from Rs.31.2 thousand in year 5 to Rs.68.8 thousand in year 8.


8.9              Repayment of Term Loan:The term loan will be repaid in eleven equated 6 monthly installments of Rs.4.77 thousand with a moratorium of 60 months.The rate of interest would have to be negotiated with the financing bank. It has been put at 12% in the model (vide Annexures VII & VII A).


8.10          Annexure VIII gives depreciation calculations.


Project Viability:


8.11          IRR/BCR: The viability of the project is assessed in Annexure IX.The IRR works out to 39.24 and the BCR to 2.5 over a period of 15 years.


8.12          The Debt Service coverage ratio calculations are presented in Annexure X.The average DSCR works out to 4.62.


8.13          Payback Period:On the basis of costs and returns of the model, the pay back period is estimated at 4.18 years (vide Annexure XI).


8.14          Break-even Point:The break even point will be reached in the third year.At this point fixed cost would work out to 52.3% of gross sales (vide Annexure XII).