Grapefruit is very important for its nutritional importance. Apart from its nutritional importance farmer majorly concerned with profit. In Pakistan, few varieties are very common like Shamber, Marsh seedless, etc., but now in this article, I will discuss an imported variety that is Californian grapefruit. This variety is very high yielded and needs to be an incentive as a business and those farmers should be motivated and convinced who are using local varieties apart from the Californian variety. There are following outlines under which a whole article will be discussed here,
- Nutritional importance
- Areas of cultivation
- Land preparation
- Fertilizer and irrigation
- Plant protection
- Yield and profit
- Estimation for production
There are many scientific types of research that qualify the following grapefruit nutritional importance,
Aids in weight loss
Grapefruit contains ascorbic acid, water, and fiber. Ascorbic acid helps the different metabolic processes to work properly, leads to breaking the fats, while water and fiber can help the body to lower the hunger pangs.
Stabilize the blood sugar
Nutritionists recommend eating grapefruit, due to low-glycemic food.
Protects against cancer
Grapefruit contains antioxidants that help to scavenge the free radicals and help to reduce almost all kinds of cancers and cell sickness.
Reduce the formation of kidney stones
Grapefruit helps to reduce calcium oxalate, the main component in the formation of kidney stones.
Lowers the heart health
Grapefruit contains potassium which relaxes the arteries and veins and maintains the blood pressure, heart strokes.
- Lowers bad cholesterol
- Enhance immunity
- Improve skin health
- Cleanse the liver
- Areas for cultivation
This variety is very successful in all those areas where other citrus fruits are grown all over in Pakistan. The plants from the nursery are mainly available from Pakistan’s largest nursery hub “Pattoki”. Local variety’s plant price ranges from 100-200 rupees, while Californian variety will be more expensive. It also depends upon the farmers, in the traditional way of farming where plant to plant distance is 30×30 ft distance and about 40-45 plants per acre required, whereas in high-density plantation, plant to plant distance is kept closer and by 12×12 ft distance about 300 plants per acre can be grown.
For land preparation, the procedure is the same as it is very suitable for farmers to find situ with sandy loam or loamy soil for the establishment of a grapefruit orchard. The land is plowed well for breaking the clods and hardpan. This step is most important for farmers because after this farmers will not be able to manage the soil in the same way. Land should be mixed with well rotten farmyard manure and irrigate the field so that field should grow more weeds earlier before plantation, when weeds grow more in height rotavate the field in this way green weeds foliage will be cut down into the pieces and will be used as green manuring and farmyard manure will be dissolved and decompose. Land leveling is another important piece of importance so that it is useful for flood irrigation. It is suggested that dug the hole deeply up to 3ft if the farmer is willing to maintain the plant height up to 6 ft. The hole should be dug and kept free and sun-exposed so that the solarization process can kill the soil-borne pathogens.
Fertilizer and irrigation
For orchard establishment, especially when the farmer is willing to adopt the high-density plantation method it is necessary to make a proper channel for scheduling the fertilizer and irrigation. It is suggested that drip irrigation should be established so that optimum usage of fertilizer and irrigation should be available to the plant. For fertilizer apply the Nitrophos and potash, 2 bags should be applied once at the time of flowering. The irrigation schedule should be according to the soil condition whether it is dried or not when plants leave showing wilting, climate conditions like temperature or wind speed.
Plant height should be maintained up to 6 ft or 5 ft when adopting the high-density technique. There is another important thing that should be kept in mind that never use bad intercropping. Never use the fodders, cotton, or wheat as an intercrop in grapefruit orchard otherwise complete orchard will destroy. It is suggested that use the vegetables as intercrop for the first two years when the orchard is in the vegetative stage and starts its maiden fruiting after 2 years. Weeds control is another issue farmers may face. Disease and pest attacks are very rare but in case of any disease consult with any experts. Fruit dropping can occur if bad intercropping is done.
Yield and profit
Californian variety of grapefruit is high yielded variety as compared to the other local variety. There are 200-250 fruits per plant in this variety. For three hundred plants its value will be a big amount.
Estimate for profit
If 150 fruits per plant then,
Total no. of fruits for 300 plants = 300 ×150 = 45, 000 fruits
If we take the average price per fruit = 15 rupees × 45, 000 = 6,75,000 rupees
- Nutritional importance cannot be denied of grapefruit.
- There are a lot of local varieties that are being cultivated like Shamber, Foster, Marsh, etc.
- The high-density plantation of grapefruit is a successful way of farming and it is being practiced by farmers in Pakistan.
- Californian grapefruit varieties are successful in Pakistan with high yield and give profit more than local varieties.
- Californian variety is successful in whole areas where another citrus are being grown successfully. Citrus needs a tropical or subtropical climate.
- In the traditional way of farming, distance is maintained 20×20 or 30×30, but in high-density technique, 12×12 ft distance is taken where 300 plants per acre can be grown.
- In HDP, plants height maintained at 5 or 6 ft.
- Land preparation is an important step, land should be fed with well-rotten farmyard manure and laser leveling is mandatory.
- There are 2 bags of Nitrophos and potash are recommended by the different experienced grower for fertilizer requirement.
- Fertilization should be done when flowering starts in March and April in Pakistan.
- Never use the fodders, cotton, or wheat as intercrop, otherwise orchard will not give any commercial results and may fail to survive and fruit dropping occur.
- From one plant about 200-250 fruits can be obtained.