In A First, India Exports Pomegranates By Sea To USA


(MENAFN- IANS) New Delhi, March 1 (IANS) India has successfully flagged off its first commercial trial shipment of pomegranates to the US via sea under the aegis of Agricultural Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) from Vashi in Navi Mumbai, the Commerce Ministry said on Friday.

The pomegranate shipment comprising 4200 boxes (12.6 tons) by InI Farms was flagged off by Rajesh Aggarwal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and APEDA chairman Abhishek Dev.

Last year APEDA successfully carried out an air shipment of pomegranates with irradiation treatment and static trial in association with ICAR-NRC Pomegranate Solapur as a technical partner.

Based on the successful result of the static trial, APEDA aimed for a successful sign-off for this consignment via sea-opening trade relations to potential markets for Indian pomegranates.

India, one of the largest producers of pomegranates in the world, is also now aiming to be amongst the top pomegranate exporting countries. The country is a key player with its market expanding in the EU, Middle East and Asian countries.

The trial air shipment, static sea trial and the sea container were executed by APEDA-registered InI Farms - a top exporter of fruits and vegetables from India with their produce being exported to over 25 countries worldwide.

Over the years, the firm has made extensive efforts to enhance the quality and shelf life of pomegranates to meet the strict standards of the global markets. As part of the Agrostar group, InI Farms has established a value chain for pomegranates by working directly with farmers in the states of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan.

The fruit was sourced from Anarnet registered farmers from Sangola in Maharashtra. Significantly, the premium received by farmers was 20 per cent compared to other export markets and 35 per cent compared to the domestic market.

Pomegranate is an important agri-produce of India, the rich history associated with fruit and its nutrition value contribute to its popular demand. India produces some of the best varieties of pomegranate in terms of quality with soft fleshy seeds, low acidity and attractive color.

Bhagwa pomegranate is considered amongst the best varieties around the world. In the last decade, India has increased the area as well as the production of Pomegranate and seen an increase in exports.

In the Pomegranate market, India holds a significant advantage of being able to supply Pomegranates throughout the year with trained farmers for export quality products. Pomegranate production in recent years has been growing at a healthy rate of 20-25 per cent.

In India, the major Pomegranate producing states are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh with Maharashtra contributing to more than 50 per cent of the production share.

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