Pomegranate Farming, Yield , profits & Expenses

Pomegranate Farming

Pomegranate is a drought-tolerant plant and grows in many parts of India with subtropical and Mediterranean weather. Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Rajasthan are a few of the states which are suitable for Pomegranate cultivation but other parts of the country have moderate quantities of pomegranate cultivation. Tamil Nadu, Andhra, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, and parts of Himachal are known to cultivate pomegranate with some success.

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Pomegranate is a profitable orchard plantation due to its continuous requirement as fresh fruit and for processed food. Pomegranate juice is one of the popular and in-demand processed foods that have a high demand in all seasons. Due to the health benefits of pomegranate, it is always a welcome fruit in all parts of the world and India too. Due to constant demand, the price o the fruit is steady and rarely dips. An average price of 150 Rs per kilo is very common in all parts of the country. Depending on the quality and variety, the price of the fruit may increase or decrease by a slight amount. Red Varieties are more popular than pink ones and fetch a higher price.

pomegranate cultivation practices

In India, most pomegranate cultivation is done in the central area and parts of South India. This includes Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana. In Kerala, the weather conditions are not perfectly suitable for pomegranates. When it comes to cultivation practices and techniques, Pomegranate is cultivated in normal traditional farming and a few in high density

Distance of 3X3 is common and in some farms, a distance of 4X4 or 4.5 X3 meters is also practiced depending on the area of cultivation. Larger space between trees allows easy access for machinery and pesticide sprayers.

Pomegranate takes 5-7 months for fruiting but some varieties take up to 4 years before fruiting. The first fruit is always thinned to help the plant grow more stems and branch out. This benefits the plants the next year in producing more fruits and flowers. 

Thinning and pruning are practiced every year and sometimes twice a year. The plants shed their leaves every winter and come back up in spring. Being a deciduous plant,  Cuttings are done 2-3 weeks after winter. This promotes better growth of a plant, develop better stems and healthier leaves and fruits

When the fruiting starts, pruning is practiced post-harvest, usually a month after harvest.

Water requirements for pomegranate are minimal and the plant itself is drought tolerant. What it does not tolerate are flooded fields and wet roots. 

pomegranate cultivation cost and profit per acre

Pomegranate cultivation is profitable if done well and practiced with care. There are pests and diseases which affect pomegranate. This includes borers, Anthracnose, fruit splitting, and a lot more. Application of pesticides and chemicals are sometimes essential. Organic sprays may control pests to some extent but care should be taken while planting pomegranate commercially. The proximity between plants is not recommended for organic farming and is surely not a high-density plantation. The chance of pest infestation is much faster in organic farms, especially when plants are much closer. 

Things you need to know about the costs of pomegranate farming.

  1. Pomegranate farming is usually an orchard setup where plants do not start any revenue for the first few years. Most commercial farms start earning only in the 5 the year. This is often a long time for most farmers to take care of the farm because revenue in that area is zero for that time
  2. While pomegranate plants are cheap, you must grow the variety that is most used in your area. Red pomegranate is usually the best selling one and with bigger sized fruits, chances are most customers will prefer them. Pink varieties though excellent in every way are not usually preferred by customers. Always prefer something which is seedless.
  3. Pomegranates do not require too much water but they sure do require water for the first 3 years. Drip irrigation is the best method of irrigation when it comes to pomegranate farming. Fortunately, in most areas, water consumption is very minimal and the yield is much higher in pomegranate farming
  4. Pruning every year is mandatory. This cuts on to the cost but carelessness in pruning will result in fewer branches and poor yield. Annual pruning and plant maintenance the first few years is crucial for the success of pomegranate farmers
  5. Pest control: Know the pests which may affect pomegranate. This will save you a lot of heartaches, especially in the flowering and fruiting seasons. Knowing the diseases and cures can save a lot of time and money.

With all the pro’s and cons of pomegranate farming, let us get to the numbers

  1. Pomegranate plants produce 5-10 KG fruits in the 4th year. They increase up to 25 KG in the third year and may go up to 50 kg gradually.
  2. Pomegranate trees live up to 50 years. This usually is excellent for farmers as they don’t have to replant every year.
  3. Approximately 200-300 plants can be accommodated in one acre of land. With just 200 plants per acre and 15 KG per tree, a farmer can earn up to 4,50,000 per year in the 6th year in turnover. The profits only keep increasing every year from then on.
  4. Per acre yield of pomegranate is 8 Tonnes, far more than most other crops if taken good care of.

But pomegranate farming comes with a few expenses too. Plant propagation, purchase of good quality plants, Land preparation, weeding, labor, irrigation set up and harvesting costs are all to be incurred by the farmer. 

Let us look into the expenses before talking about profit and revenue

Ref: http://apeda.in/agriexchange/Market%20Profile/MOA/Product/Pomegranate.pdf

Pomegranate Farming Expense

Land preparation25000
Plants16000
Fertilizer and Manure25000
Irrigation Setup50000
Irrigation5000
Labor45000
Total1,66,000

Apart from the above expenses, there is the expense of weeding which is constant for every year at 25000. The plant cost is nominal at 4 Rupees per plant but could go as high as 50 rupees per plant depending on availability and variety.

But even with the expense, you are sure to cover the cost and make a profit of approximately 2 and a half lakh in the 6th year.