Early Grapes – A High Value Crop
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Grape is one of the most remunerative summer fruit crops, native to warm, temperate zone between 34o N and 49oS latitude. Mountainous and sub-mountainous areas up to 2000m altitude or more are suitable for its cultivation. In Pakistan, grapes are grown on an area of 13,000 ha with annual production of 49.0 thousand tonnes (2004-05). Recent developments in its production technology have made it possible to grow this crop in Pothowar region on commercial scale.
Technology Development and Demonstration
Monsoon rains result in fungal diseases and rottening of grape berries. Therefore, it is imperative to select those varieties that could escape the summer monsoon rain and mature before the monsoon season. Hence, early maturing table varieties are suitable for Pothowar region. The recent introduction and evaluation of varieties at NARC, has revealed that the varieties, Flame Seedless, King’s Ruby and Perlette are early in maturity, so are found successful in the region. These can be harvested by the end of June, thus escape the monsoon rain damage. The early crop harvest gives the higher returns to the farmers.
On the basis of encouraging results obtained in terms of fruit production and quality a complete package of production technology has been developed for the farmers. This includes availability of plants, planting methods, plant to plant distance of 2.6 m and row to row of 3.3 m trellising and training on two parallel wires attached with the pole along with each plant (cane system), punning at dormant stage, bunch thinning at flowering stage (leaving 25 healthy bunches per plant), irrigation at weekly intervals, and fertilization N: P: K (1:1:1) during mid February.
Shah, A. H., I. Ahmed, M. H. Laghari and B. Raja. (1993). Production technology for grape growing in Pothowar.