The research carried out by the agronomists of the Department of Agriculture to identify two new varieties of pomegranate for cultivation in the country has been extremely successful so far. These two pomegranate varieties with high yield and very sweet taste are going to be introduced for cultivation in the country by the Department of Agriculture in a few months.
At present, imported pomegranate species are widely used for cultivation in our country. A large quantity of pomegranates used as pomegranate seeds and fruit are imported to this country from India and other countries.
We lose a large amount of foreign exchange annually because of this. The two new pomegranate varieties identified by the Department of Agriculture aiming to avoid this situation were introduced to Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera Hon. Minister of Agriculture recently (15) at the Ministry of Agriculture.
The agronomists who conducted this research in the Department of Agriculture also participated in that event.
Research cultivations of these two new varieties that can be cultivated under the dry region climate have now been cultivated in the agricultural research farms of Norochchola and Weerawila area and the cultivations have been successful.
But the release of these new varieties to the farmers for cultivation is done after the approval of the Varieties Releasing Committee of the Department of Agriculture. A variety is approved for cultivation only after a long study of that variety. The Varieties Releasing Committee considers many things such as especially considering the suitability of the crop, harvest, the economic benefits that can be derived from it as well as disease resistance.
Accordingly, it is expected that these two new pomegranate varieties can be used for cultivation under the supervision of the Variety Releasing Committee within another three months.
A harvest of 10 – 15 kg can be gained from one tree in 8 months and it is currently said that the lifespan of a tree is about 35 years. The research conducted so far confirms that these varieties which bear fruit throughout the year can gain a higher yield in the main season.
Pomegranate is a fruit that has a high demand in the market both locally and internationally. For the importation of this fruit which is very popular among cancer patients to this country, spends about Rs. 9000 m annually.
Therefore, Mr. Mahinda Amaraweera Hon. Minister of Agriculture has stated that to stop the large amount of money flowing to foreign countries considering the need of the country, Pomegranate cultivation in this country will be successful due to the addition of these two new varieties among the local fruits. Also, the Minister thanked the Department of Agriculture for introducing these new varieties.