Grapes are grown for eating as well as for producing juices, carbonated drinks, and raisins. There is a huge demand for the fruit all year round. Prices are at the highest at the start and end of the seasons. Grapes cultivation can be a highly profitable business venture for the farmers if modern farming techniques are applied. The proposed project is designed as a medium sized grapes cultivation farm on 5 acres of land. There are numerous varieties of grapes, which are suitable for cultivation in three distinctive agro-climatic zones; namely, ‘Sub-tropical’, ‘Hot Tropical’ and ‘Mild Tropical’ climatic regions in Pakistan. However, for the purpose of this article, following seedless varieties of grape are being proposed with a special consideration of starting a grape farm in Southern Punjab and Sindh Regions of Pakistan:
- Red Globe
- Kings Ruby
- Narc Black
- Sultana (Sundar Khani)
Grapes Cultivation Process in Pakistan
- Land Preparation: Laser leveling, deep plowing and harrowing
- Soil Fertilization: Apply decomposed FMY or Green Manure (10 ton per acre) before 60 days of sowing plants and apply basal dose chemical fertilizer one before sowing plants
- Selection of Grape Plants: List of grape plant types & seeds has been mentioned above.
- Plant Protection: Regular monitoring, watering, and application of required chemicals
- Farm Structure: Make structure through bamboo and wires for holding the plant leaves and fruits
- Plants Mulching: Complete bed preparation and mulching one week before the plantation
- Fruit Harvesting
- Grading & Packing
Factors for Success of Grape Farming in Pakistan
Following are the factors critical to the success of the grape farming business in Pakistan:
- Complete adherence to best agronomic practices is critical to the success of this project; therefore, technical knowledge & experience of the entrepreneur is absolutely necessary.
- The commercial viability of the project depends upon the regular and consistent supply of good quality of grapes plants and fertilizers.
- Identification of suitable varieties according to soil and climatic conditions of the area.
- Proper soil analysis for determining soil nutritional level.
- Fertile land and its maintenance within the tunnel during the period of cultivation.
- Timely control of pests, diseases, and exercise of all recommended agronomic measures.
- Timely irrigation, fertilization, training, and grading of the plantation.
- Appropriate post-harvest arrangement for washing, grading, packing, and transportation of product to the market.
Geographical Areas Suitable for Grape Farming in Pakistan
However, the recent success of India for the cultivation of grapes in Rajasthan Region and declaring it as a ‘Rajasthan Grapes Valley’ compels to follow the same practices in similar agro-climatic regions i.e. Cholistan and Thar in Pakistan. Therefore, following areas of Southern Punjab and Sindh could also be the most appropriate/ideal locations for the proposed farm:
Bahawalpur, Rahim Yar Khan, Sadiqabad, Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan Khairpur, Mirpur Khas, Sargodha, etc.
Target Markets of Grapes
The potential local target market for the packed fresh grapes will be the general public of upper-middle income group of urban cities, who generally prefer to buy the fresh fruits and vegetables from supermarkets and big departmental stores. Considering too that, major cities, for instance, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Multan, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Hyderabad and etc. with large urban base would be the potential local target markets in Pakistan for the grapes.
Similarly, fruit market of these cities will be also focused as a wholesale market. Additionally, juice manufacturers having their set-ups in major cities; for instance, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar, Quetta, Rawalpindi, Multan, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, and etc. will also be the potential target customers for the farmed grapes. In the export market, Pakistani fruits have a huge demand in the Middle East, Europe, Iran, Russia, USA, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canada, etc.
Space Requirements for Grape Farming in Pakistan
The proposed grapes farm will be spread on five (05) acres of agricultural land. Approximately 3,000 plants will be sowed with a ratio of 600 plants per acre. The average grapes produced per plant during year one is assumed as 5 kgs whereas maximum grapes produced from a plant in the subsequent years is estimated as 7 kgs. Therefore, total grapes produced from the proposed farm in year one is 15,000 kgs and subsequently around 21,000 kgs in the later years.
It is recommended to acquire the land on a lease basis. The average lease cost in Southern Punjab, or adjoining Sindh areas or other agricultural locations may vary from 30,000 ~ 70,000 per acres, annually. For the purpose of this pre-feasibility, average land lease cost is estimated at Rs. 60,000 per acres. The infrastructural requirements of the project mainly comprise of the construction of shed, storage, store, and washroom.
Financial Requirements for Grape Farming in Pakistan
Total investment required to start grape farming in Pakistan is approximately Rs. 3.10 million. All the figures in this financial model have been calculated for estimated sales of grapes of Rs.1.56 million in the year one. The grapes production per plant during year one is assumed at 5 kgs against the maximum production of 7 kgs for later years. Complete financials can be studied in the pre-feasibility study of grape farming in Pakistan by SMEDA.