The Ahmednagar district represents a hot and dry climate suitable for pomegranate cultivation. The KVK has successfully demonstrated various technologies like use of Integrated Nutrient Management, use of Integrated Pest Management, use of bahar for flower initiation and use of soil and leaf test based nutrient application. The KVK has implemented 40 FLDs demonstrating these technologies in six villages of Rahata, Shrirampur and Sangamner tehsils during 2008-09 and during 2011-12. The farmers were initially reluctant to use the soil and leaf test nutrients and their NPK use was of the order of 6:4:3. This imbalanced use caused poor and delayed flower set, symptoms of increased fungal blight and wilt. The average yield of pomegranate in these growing pockets was 120q/ha. The KVK initially made analysis of situation and problems and it was observed that the problems were most prominent. The pomegranate growers were initially asked to form groups in different villages and were provided various inputs in terms of technical aspects of cultivation. The farmers were particularly were asked to be very careful in identifying and selecting the right kind of soil for pomegranate cultivation. They were later asked to undertake soil test analysis after which they were provided guidance on appropriateness of the soil and nutrients to be applied. This has resulted in ideal soil selection and reduction of soil related wilt problem and over irrigation.
The farmers were then provided technical backup on bahar management which forms the basis of good orchard management practices. The farmers were demonstrated to apply 100 g phosphorus and 100 g of potassium prior to forcing the pomegranate trees. The farmers were particularly asked to maintan bahar stress for minimum of 45 to 60 days. Before the start of bahar the farmers were asked to undertake root pruning. With initial hesitation and problems in existing practice the farmers were finally convinced and used the root pruning technique. The results have been found to be encouraging and have helped the farmers to initiate uniform flowering, increased fruit set and a better marketable fruit quality in ambe bahar pomegranate. The results have been encouraging as the different technology packages recommended by the KVK have been adopted on a large scale by the pomegranate growers in Sangamner, Rahata and Shrirampur tehsils. The KVK has been instrumental in popularizing the use of pomegranate leaf test based nutrient application which was accepted by over 80 per cent of growers. The average yields under plots based on KVKs guidance has been observed to be 165 q/ha. The market rates have also been very lucrative fetching an average of Rs 55 to 75 kg for top quality fruits. The pomegranate growers are getting net income of Rs 2.5 to 8.5 lakhs depending upon yield and market rates as is observed under KVKs demonstrations. During the current year 60 demonstrations were organized which comprised focus on Integrated Disease Management and Integrated Nutrient Management in Pomegranate. The adoption of the improved technology package under demonstration is 82.1 per cent. The horizontal spread of the technology package due to KVKs efforts is prevalent in 4 major growing pockets of Rahata, Sangamner, Shrirampur and Rahuri and also Sinnar, Niphad tehsils of Nashik and Vaijapur tehsil of Aurangabad District.