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Use of Water Absorbent Polymer in Pomegranate

Despite severe water shortage, the farmers in Pimpri Nirmal village have adopted the pomegranate cultivation technology with farm pond and tanker irrigation. Various problems related to the irrigation, nutrient management, pest & diseases management has been addressed through NICRA project interventions for this purpose on community basis by forming pomegranate growers group. In this village the area under pomegranate has increased from 85 ha to 130 ha and no. of farmers have also increased from   178 to 265. During last two year 30 farm ponds has been constructed. This has helped develop very good cluster of pomegranate which is becoming major livelihood and income generating enterprise after livestock production in the drought prone Pimpri Nirmal Village. A demonstration on use of water absorbent polymer in Pomegranate to demonstrate the efficacy of different moisture conservation techniques was conducted. The water absorbant polymer was applied to pomegranate crop during late ambe bahar in March-April. The application has been observed to very significant in reducing the prolonged water stress in pomegranate crop due to increase in available water in the field capacity. Also there was an increased flower and fruit drop in untreated control plots due to increased formation of abscission layer due to water stress. 

The irrigation through drip was extended from the normal 2 days to 3 to 4 days during the active fruit development phase. There was a saving of 14 lakh liters of water per hectare reducing the water demand to an extent of 35 per cent over untreated control. Similarly the fruit size and fruit retention was higher in absorbent polymer applied trees as compared to untreated trees. The fruit yield in treatment plot was observed to be 19.5 kg as compared to 16 kg per tree in control plots. The yield in demonstration plots was observed to be 157 q/ha as compared to 135.6 q/ha in control plots. There was an average increase of 13.7 per cent in marketable yield under demonstration. The efficiency of nutrients that were applied after the soil and leaf test was also observed to higher as the treated plots showed no symptoms of leaf yellowing or nutrient deficiencies