Commercial pomegranate farming is not a new business idea. Many people around the world are growing pomegranate from the ancient time. Pomegranate is actually grown for it’s fruit crop, and also used as ornamental trees and shrubs in parks and gardens.
The pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub in the family Lythraceae, subfamily Punicoideae. The plants generally grows between 16 and 33 feet tall.
The pomegranate plants have multiple spiny branches and is extremely long-lived (with some specimens in France surviving for 200 years).
Pomegranate leaves are opposite or subopposite, glossy, narrow oblong, entire, 3–7 cm (1+1⁄4–2+3⁄4 in) long and 2 cm (3⁄4 in) broad. The flowers are bright red and 3 cm (1+1⁄4 in) in diameter, with three to seven petals. Some fruitless varieties are grown for the flowers alone.
The pomegranate was originally described throughout the Mediterranean region and was introduced into Spanish America in the late 16th century and into California by Spanish settlers in the year of 1769.
Growing season of pomegranate in the Northern Hemisphere is typically from October to February, and from March to May in the Southern Hemisphere.
Currently, pomegranate is widely available in almost everywhere around the world. The plants are widely cultivated throughout the Middle East and Caucasus region, north and tropical Africa, Mediterranean Basin, the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia and Central Asia.
Pomegranates are used for many different purposes. As juice or intact, pomegranates are used in juice blends, cooking, baking, smoothies, meal garnishes and alcoholic beverages (such as cocktails and wine).
Nutritional Value of Pomegranate
Pomegranates are actually among the best and healthiest fruits on Earth. As compared to other fruits, pomegranates contain a wide range of beneficial plant compounds. And studies have shown that this fruit may have numerous benefits for your body, possibly lowering your risk of various diseases.
The edible portion of raw pomegranate is 1% fat, 2% protein, 19% carbohydrates and 78% water. A serving of 100 grams raw pomegranate provides 10% Daily Value (DV) for folate, 12% of DV for vitamin C and 16% DV for vitamin K.
The seeds of pomegranate are also a good food. The seeds are rich source of dietary fiber (around 20% of DV) which is entirely contained in the edible seeds. The arils are also very sweet, with one cup containing 24 grams of sugar and 144 calories.
Health Benefits of Consuming Pomegranate
As you can see, pomegranate is very nutritious. It really shine in it’s wealth of powerful plant compounds, some of which have potential medicinal properties.
Pomegranates are actually among the healthiest fruits and they are safe for all aged people. There are many health benefits of consuming pomegranates. Here we are trying to describe about the top health benefits of pomegranate.
- Pomegranates are very nutritious, and they are loaded with important nutrients. They also contain some sugar.
- There are hundreds of edible seeds (called arils) inside a fruit. These fruits are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and bioactive plant compounds.
- Pomegranates contain 2 important plant compounds (punicalagins and punicic acid) with powerful medicinal properties. These 2 compounds have made pomegranate a very healthy fruit.
- This fruit has impressive anti-inflammatory effects. The punicalagins in pomegranate juice have been shown to reduce inflammation (one of the leading drivers of many serious diseases).
- Prostate cancer is a common type of cancer in men, and the pomegranate may help fight prostate cancer and may lower the risk of death.
- Breast cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in women, and pomegranate may also be useful against breast cancer.
- Consuming pomegranate on a regular basis may help to lower blood pressure levels in as little as two weeks.
- Studies in animals and isolated cells indicate that pomegranate extract may be beneficial against several forms of arthritis, but human research is needed.
- Consuming pomegranate on a regular basis is very good for your heart. It can lower the risk of heart diseases. It improves cholesterol profile and protects LDL cholesterol from oxidative damage.
- Regular consumption of pomegranate juice may help treat erectile dysfunction.
- Pomegranates have antibacterial and antiviral properties, and these can be helpful to fight bacterial and fungal infections.
- There are some evidence that this fantastic fruit can improve memory.
- Pomegranate may improve exercise performance by increasing blood flow, as it is a rich source of nitrates.
However, pomegranate is highly nutritious and it is one of the healthiest food. It is packed with nutrients and powerful plant compounds. Consuming pomegranates regularly has wide-ranging benefits and may help reduce your risk of various serious diseases including heart diseases, cancer, arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. And it’s safe to consume pomegranate regularly.
Advantages of Pomegranate Farming Business
Large scale or commercial pomegranate farming is a very easy and profitable business. It’s possible to make good profits from this business. Currently it is a very popular business in many countries around the world.
Starting commercial pomegranate farming is very easy and simple, even the beginners can also start this business. Although, learning from existing farmers will be good. Here we are listing the top advantages/benefits of pomegranate farming business.
- Large scale pomegranate farming is not a new business. It’s an established business in many countries around the world.
- Many people are already doing this business commercially for making profits. So, you don’t have to worry much about staring or operating this business.
- Learning practically before starting this business is very important. And we hope you will be able to find some existing farmers within your area to learn pomegranate farming practically.
- We recommend learning more about pomegranate farming practically from existing farmers. Learning practically from existing farmers will help you to start and run your business perfectly.
- Large scale or commercial pomegranate farming is very profitable and you will be able to make good profits from this business.
- Initial investment requirement in this business is relatively low.
- Both demand and value of pomegranate in the market are very high.
- Pomegranate is already very popular in the market. So, you don’t have to worry much about marketing your products.
- Pomegranate plants generally require less care and other management. And caring the plants is very easy.
- As commercial pomegranate farming is a profitable business, so it can be a great employment source (especially for the educated unemployed people).
- Pomegranate is very nutritious and healthy. You can enjoy it many different ways.
- You can enjoy fresh pomegranate if you start your own pomegranate production business.
How to Start Pomegranate Farming Business
Starting pomegranate production business is just like starting other crop farming business. It’s very easy and simple because the plants generally grow well in relatively less caring and other management.
As we have mentioned above, you should learn practically from an existing farmer if you are a beginner. Here we are trying to describe more about the steps of starting and operating a pomegranate farming business from planting, caring to harvesting and marketing.
Pomegranate plants can be grown on variety of soils. But the plants require deep loamy and alluvial soils for optimum growth and production.
The plants are tolerant to loamy and slightly alkaline soils. They can also be grown on poor soils. Medium and black soils are also suitable for pomegranate cultivation.
Preparing the land perfectly is very important for commercial pomegranate production. Plough the land for 2-3 times and bring soil to fine tilth. After then carry out planking operation to make land leveled and uniform.
Pomegranate plants generally prefer a dry climate. And a prolonged hot and dry climate is required during fruit development. The optimum temperature congenial for fruit development is 38° C.
The fruits are severely damaged by the pomegranate butterflies in a humid climate and do not develop sweetness. The plants are winter hardy and very drought tolerant. They can grow up to an elevation of 1850 meters.
Pomegranate has more than 500 cultivars throughout the world, but evidently has considerable synonymy in which the same genotype is named differently across regions of the world.
Several characteristics between pomegranate cultivars vary for identification, consumer preference, preferred use, and marketing, the most important of which are fruit size, exocarp color (ranging from yellow to purple, with pink and red most common), seed-coat color (ranging from white to red), the hardness of seed, maturity, juice content and its acidity, sweetness, and astringency.
However, consult with your local pomegranate producer. You should choose those cultivars which grows well in your area.
You can purchase either seeds or plants. Purchasing seeds and making seedlings of your own is a much cheaper option than buying plants.
Purchase seeds from well known companies or you can also consider ordering the seeds online.
Vegetative propagation is recommended in establishing pomegranate plants. Propagation by cuttings is also common. Other planting methods are layering or gootee.
Take the cuttings from suckers which spring from the base of the main stem and should be mature about 20 to 30 cm long and 6-12 mm thick. Rainy season is the best period to achieve maximum success.
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.
Pomegranate plants are generally very strong and hardy. They require relatively less caring. But taking additional caring will help the plants to grow well and produce more. Here we are trying to describe the top caring process of pomegranate plants.
Apply 5-6 kg farmyard manure to one year old plant. Apply Nitrogen (urea) at the rate of 50 grams per plant every year in two equal splits. Try to give the first dose in March and second dose in April. Start applying urea at the rate of 250 grams per plant after 5 years.
Applying irrigation timely is very important. Apply water at the interval of 10-15 days in summer and in winter increase irrigation interval upto 20-25 days.
Mulching is very beneficial for retaining moisture into the soil. It also help to prevent the growth of weeds. You can use organic materials as mulch.
Mulching will help to stop most of the weeds. Although additional weeding is required if you notice weeds.
Pruning & Training
Training and pruning help in growth of fresh and healthy shoots. It removes old also disease branches and avoids overcrowding of branches. It also maintains proper shape of the plant.
Pests, Diseases, Disorders
Like many other commercial crops, the pomegranate plants are susceptible to some pests, diseases and other problems. Here we are trying to describe more about these.
Diseases & Their Control
The main diseases of the pomegranate plants reported are fruit rot and leaf spot. 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.
Pests & Their Control
Common insect pets of the pomegranate plants are mealy bugs, aphids, fruit borer, fruit sucking moths and white fly. Spraying with dimethoate , deltamethrin or malathion etc. depending upon the type of pest infestation has been found to be effective in most cases.
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 may be cultivated and in other cases spraying with calcium hydroxide soon after fruit set has been found to be beneficial.
Fruits gets mature within 5-6 months after flowering. Start harvesting when the fruit’s color changes from green to light yellow or red. Changing of color from green to yellow or red is the indicator of fruit ripening, and it is the optimum time for harvesting. Avoid delay in harvesting as it will lead to fruit cracking and thus leads to yield loss.
The fruits can be stored in shades for about one week after harvesting. It will help in hardening of fruit skin. So that less damage is observed in transportation. Grading is essential before marketing. And the fruits are generally graded according to weight.
Exact amount depends on many different factors. A grown up and well kept pomegranate tree should give about 100 to 150 fruits per year.
Marketing pomegranate is very easy and simple. The majority of the producers sell their products either through trade agents at the village level or commission agents at the market. You can also target selling in your local or any nearest market.
These are the common steps and ways for starting and operating a successful pomegranate farming business. Hope this guide has helped you! Good luck & may God bless you!
Best Tips for Successful Pomegranate Farming Business
Pomegranates have been cherished for centuries as symbols of fertility, abundance, and prosperity (mainly for their sweet-tart flavor and vibrant crimson seeds). That’s why commercial pomegranate farming is gaining popularity worldwide.
Main reason of the high popularity of this fruit is due to the it’s high nutritional value and increasing demand in the global market. Here we are going to share some valuable tips for success, whether you are an experienced farmer looking to diversify your crops or a novice seeking to venture into pomegranate cultivation.
1. Learn Practically First
First of all, try to learn more practically about commercial production of pomegranates from an experienced farmer or from any organizations. Learning practically is very important. Because practical knowledge will help you to run your farm better.
2. Make an Effective Business Plan
Making an effective business plan is very important before starting any business. Commercial pomegranate production is not an exception. So, try to make a very good and effective business plan before starting this business commercially. Try to include everything in your business plan. Ask for help from an expert if you can’t make an effective plan.
3. Select the Right Variety
Choosing the appropriate variety is crucial for successful pomegranate farming. Consider factors such as climate, soil type, and intended use (fresh consumption or processing) to select the best-suited cultivar for your region. Consult with some existing farmers in your area for good recommendation, and try to to determine the market demand and price.
4. Optimal Climate and Soil
Pomegranates thrive in warm to hot climates with long, dry summers and mild winters. Ensure the soil is well-drained, slightly acidic to neutral (pH 5.5-7.0), and rich in organic matter. Presence of adequate organic matter in the soil is very important. Because pomegranate plants grow well in soil which is rich in organic content.
5. Site Selection
Selecting a good site for your production is very important. Pomegranate plants grow well in full sun. So, try to select a location with full sun exposure to maximize fruit development and enhance the pomegranate’s color and flavor.
6. Planting Time
Pomegranate plants have specific planting time, and planting them throughout the year will not result good growth and production. Plant pomegranate saplings in late winter to early spring when the soil has warmed up and frost risks have diminished.
Pomegranates can be propagated in many different ways. These plants can be propagated through cuttings, seeds, or grafting. Grafting onto a strong rootstock is recommended for better yield and disease resistance.
Keeping proper spacing between plants helps the plants grow well and produce more. So, provide adequate space between each plant to ensure proper air circulation and to prevent overcrowding.
Pomegranate trees require regular watering during their establishment phase. Once established, they are drought-tolerant, but occasional irrigation during dry spells is beneficial for optimal fruit development.
10. Use Organic Mulching
Good mulching helps to retain moisture into the soil. Apply organic mulch around the base of the tree to conserve soil moisture, control weeds, and improve soil fertility. Good good choices of organic mulching materials are hay, straw, grass clippings, wood shavings etc.
Conduct soil tests and apply balanced fertilizers to supply essential nutrients, such as nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, to the pomegranate trees. Apply adequate amount of organic fertilizers along with providing chemical fertilizers.
12. Pruning is Important
Pruning the pomegranate plants is also another important caring tasks. Prune the trees during the dormant season to remove dead wood, improve air circulation, and shape the canopy for better light penetration.
13. Training the Tree
Train the pomegranate tree to have an open center or vase-shaped structure to allow sunlight to reach the inner branches and enhance fruit development. Doing this is very important for getting better fruit production.
14. Pest and Disease Management
Monitor the orchard regularly for pests and diseases, and adopt integrated pest management strategies to minimize chemical use. Try to learn more about organic pest control system from any experienced farmer in your area.
While some pomegranate varieties are self-pollinating, cross-pollination generally results in higher yields. Introducing honeybees or native pollinators to the orchard can enhance fruit set.
16. Fruit Thinning
Thinning excess fruits during the early stages of development is very important. Because, doing this will help to increase the size and quality of the remaining fruits.
17. Fruit Bagging
Protect young fruits from pests and sunburn by bagging them in special coverings. This system is becoming popular gradually. And it is a very good way for protecting your fruits.
Harvesting the fruits timely is another important part of commercial pomegranate farming business. Harvest pomegranates when the skin has turned fully colored and the fruit makes a metallic sound when tapped. Avoid picking overripe fruits, as they are prone to splitting.
19. Post-Harvest Handling
Handle the harvested fruits carefully to prevent bruising and damage. Store them in a cool, dry place with good ventilation to prolong shelf life.
20. Marketing and Value Addition
Determine the market of your products before starting this business commercially. Because, you will not be able to earn good profits if you can’t market your products at good prices. Explore value-added products like pomegranate juice, arils, and dried seeds to diversify your product range and increase profitability.
21. Organic Farming Practices
Embrace organic farming practices to produce healthier, chemical-free fruits and cater to the growing demand for organic products. In some areas, organic fruits have much more demand and value.
22. Record Keeping
Maintain detailed records of all farm activities, including planting dates, fertilization schedules, and pest management, to track progress and make informed decisions.
23. Soil Health Management
Implement practices like cover cropping, crop rotation, and composting to improve soil health and sustain productivity.
24. Sustainable Water Management
Promote water-efficient irrigation techniques like drip irrigation and rainwater harvesting to conserve water resources. Doing this is very important for keeping our environment safe.
25. Learn and Expand
We always recommend starting in small scale and learn more about this business. Then you can expand gradually once you have learned a lot about this business. Collaborate with local farmers and learn from them. And also don’t forget to help other new farmers who want to venture into this business.