Indian Economy News

APEDA facilitates the export of the first trial shipment of fresh pomegranate to the USA via air

The first trial shipment of fresh pomegranates to be sent to the USA by air route was made possible thanks to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), which operates under the aegis of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO) of India, the US Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service (US-APHIS), the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB), the ICAR-National Research Centre on Pomegranate, Solapur (NRC-Solapur), and other organisations worked together to initiate the first pomegranate export consignment to the USA.

Pomegranate exports to the USA would rise, according to APEDA Chairman Mr. Abhishek Dev, increasing farmers' income and realising higher prices. There has been encouraging response from the importers of the pomegranate shipment, he added.

The APEDA-registered "INI Farms," one of the largest exporters of fruits and vegetables from India, handled the trial shipment of pomegranates. By collaborating with farmers directly, it has created a value chain for banana and pomegranate products. As a member of the Agrostar group, farmers receive comprehensive services, including agronomy, agri-inputs, and off-take, with the produce being shipped to over 35 nations worldwide. The export of a trial shipment of pomegranates would help in strengthening capacities among Indian exporters and US importers by ensuring that quality fruits are sent, as the long-distance market and high cost were barriers to starting commercial operations.

Exporters are encouraged by the success of Indian mangoes in the US markets and anticipate similar success for pomegranates there. APEDA regularly organises sensitisation programmes in collaboration with state governments to register farms through AnarNet, a system created by APEDA, to ensure traceability in the export value chain of pomegranates. By paving the road for high-quality Indian pomegranates to be imported into the USA and Australia, APEDA significantly contributed to achieving market access.

'Bhagwa' pomegranate from Maharashtra has significant export potential due to its high antioxidant content and super fruit qualities. The 'Bhagwa' kind of pomegranate is in high demand in foreign markets. The majority of the pomegranate exports from the nation come from the Solapur district of Maharashtra.

Pomegranate exports in 2022-23 totalled 62,280 metric tonnes worth US$ 58.36 million and were exported to the UA), Bangladesh, Nepal, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bahrain, and Oman. India ranks second in the world for horticultural crop production. India produced 333.20 million metric tonnes (MMT) of horticultural crops in 2021-22; 90% of these crops were fruits and vegetables. Pomegranates accounted for almost 3 MMT of the 107.10 MMT of fruits produced overall in 2021-22.

India is the seventh-largest producer of pomegranates in the world, with around 275,500 hectares under cultivation. The principal pomegranate-producing states in India include Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Rajasthan. To encourage pomegranate exports and eliminate supply chain bottlenecks, APEDA established Export Promotion Forums (EPF) for Pomegranate. Representatives from the departments of commerce, agriculture, state governments, national referral laboratories, and the top ten exporters of the commodity are also present at the EPF.

APEDA has taken various steps to solve the issues with the pomegranate value chain in a continuous process, from pre-production to post-harvest, logistics, branding, and marketing activities. Financial aid has also been given to state governments under the Common Infrastructure Development to expand capacity infrastructures for exports, in addition to the establishment of more than 250 export-oriented, European Union (EU)-compatible pack houses in the private sector. In order to maximise export potential in emerging markets, APEDA has developed methods for nation-specific export promotion programmes and hosted International Buyer Seller Meets for EU, Middle Eastern, and South-East Asian nations.

Moreover, APEDA has organised an International Buyer Seller Meet with the Union Territory of Ladakh to increase the exports of apricots and other agricultural goods from Ladakh. 18 entrepreneurs from the UTs of Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh showcased a variety of apricots and other agricultural products. Twenty buyers came to this event from India, the USA, Bangladesh, Oman, and the UAE.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.