Horticulture : India starts shipping pomegranates to US market
After long period, India starts shipping pomegranates to US market. The country’s first export shipment of pomegranates has reached American shores. With help from the Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) and the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) around 1.3 tonne of pomegranates reached Miami, Florida.
According to MSAMB officials, around 50,000 tonnes of pomegranates are expected to be exported from the country this year. Pomegranate is a seasonal fruit and at present, there is a huge demand from the US market. The US market is tough since the pomegranates have to undergo an irradiation process which is mandatory for all fruit. The shipment was cleared by the inspection officials stationed by the US at the Vashi Irradiation facility.
Chandrakant Patil, cooperation minister, Maharashtra said that the state government would endeavour to send fruits other than mangoes to the US market. The Bhagwa variety of pomegranates is popular in the US. Pomegranate is mostly grown in the semi-arid tehsils of Solapur, Sangli, Satara, Ahmednagar, Pune and Nashik districts. Maharashtra contributes 90% to the country’s total pomegranate production.
The second season of harvesting is to come up in the January-February period. The first season for the crop comes up in the July to September period. West Asia continues to remain one of the biggest markets for India. This year, India also exported pomegranates to countries such as Bangladesh, Bahrain, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands. Although Russia emerged as a new market.