Pomegranate is a fruit tree species that grows like a shrub due to its natural sucker. In Turkey and other countries many orchards are planted with the distance between 4 and 6 meters. The gardeners there are trained to multiple trunk system, according which pomegranate grows naturally like a bush. The traditional technique requires support system (such as a trellising) to prevent the incidence of the branches of pomegranate plants, which means the increasing of the initial orchard facility cost. Such system causes problems in efficiency of crop management like productivity, fruit quality, orchard mechanization and management of diseases and insects.
An innovative solution of single trunking and pruning of pomegranates has being developed and implemented by the Aegean Agricultural Research Institute since 2005 for the purpose of sustainable orchard management. In a new system, pruning system globe-shaped with narrow angles and four main branches is applied, thus, forming pomegranate plant to a single trunked tree. As a result, the plant can stand without leaning of branches with the appropriate pruning technique without any trellis installation. This is a principle difference between the solution and the old system.
The implementation of the solution does not any specific material such as metal support system and connection wires. Pruning team should be trained in the appropriate branch cutting and routing.
The solution led to the benefit of:
- Eliminating high investment costs of approximately USD 10.000 per hectare needed for the traditional technique with the trellising systems;
- Increase of production quality due to more efficient orchard maintenance work;
- Increase of pomegranate yield by approximately 40%;
- Double reduction of pomegranate production costs such as labor fee and orchard mechanization from USD 0.2 to USD 0.1, despite of increase in quality and quantity of production.
With the recommended systemic adaption and application, it is possible to create a more sustainable orchard management system, the main components of which are also orchard mechanization, management of diseases and insects.
Achievements: 80 percent of 1200 pomegranate farmers in the Aegean region of Turkey benefit from applying the solution.
Partners: The Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Livestock of Turkey.
Budget: No need to special budget to implement the solution, only a training is needed for farmers and pruning teams.
Turkey, Aegean Agricultural Research Institute, Menemen, Izmir,
Contact person: Erol Kucuk (PhD) Andac. Cavdar (Msc),
Phone: +905308849362; +905055730650