Research carried out by the agronomists of the Agriculture Department to identify two new varieties of pomegranate for cultivation in Sri Lanka 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 Sri Lanka by the Agriculture Department in the next 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. As a result, Sri Lanka loses a large amount of foreign exchange annually.
Aiming to avoid this situation, the two new pomegranate varieties identified by the Agriculture Department were introduced to Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera on Friday (15) at the Ministry.
The agronomists who conducted this research in the Agriculture Department also participated in that event.
These two new varieties which can be cultivated under the dry zone climate have now been cultivated in the agricultural research farms of Norochcholai and Weerawila and the cultivations have been successful.
The release of these new varieties to the farmers for cultivation will be done after the approval of the Varieties Releasing Committee of the Agriculture Department. A variety is approved for cultivation only after a long study of that variety. The Varieties Release Committee considers many things, especially the suitability of the crop, the yield, the economic benefits that can be derived from it and the disease resistance.
Accordingly, it is expected that these two new pomegranate varieties can be used for cultivation under the supervision of the Varieties Release Committee in three months.
One tree can yield between 10 to 15 kilos in eight months and it is currently stated 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 yield more in the main season.
Pomegranate is a fruit that is in high demand in the market both locally and internationally.
It is very popular among cancer patients.
Therefore, considering the needs of the country, Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said that the large amount of money flowing to foreign countries will be stopped and that the pomegranate cultivation in this country will be successful due to the addition of these two new varieties among the local fruits. The Minister also thanked the Agriculture Department for introducing these new varieties.