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APEDA facilitates India’s first commercial trial shipment of Sangola pomegranates to the US via sea

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On 28th February, 2024, India 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) by InI Farms from IFC facility, MSAMB, Vashi (Navi Mumbai). Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry and Shri, Abhishek Dev, Chairman, APEDA flagged off the Pomegranate shipment comprising of 4200 boxes (12.6 tons).

The ceremony was graced by dignitaries from the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB), Regional Plant Quarantine Station (RPQS- MoA&FW), State Agriculture Department (Govt of Maharashtra), NRC Pomegranate, US Consulate and InI Farms.

Last year APEDA successfully carried out an air shipment of Pomegranates with irradiation treatmentand static trial in association with ICAR-NRC Pomegranate Solapur as 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 and is also now aiming to be amongst the top Pomegranate exporting countries in the World. India is a key player growing in the EU, Middle East and Asian Markets.

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% compared to other export markets and 35% compared to 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 through-out the year with trained farmer for expert quality product. Pomegranate production in the recent years has been growing at a healthy rate of 20-25%. In India, the major Pomegranate producing states are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh with Maharashtra contributing to more than 50% of the production share.

APEDA has facilitated Pomegranates exports worth $58.36 Million in 2022-23 to United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bangladesh, Nepal, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bahrain, and Oman.

APEDA has been actively working on improving the supply chain bottlenecks for Pomegranates export; the establishment of Export Promotion Forums (EPF) for Pomegranate is an impetus to exports of Pomegranates. The EPF has representatives of the Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture, state governments, national referral laboratories and top ten leading exporters of the product.The initiative taken by APEDA for sea consignment will build trust between Indian exporters and foreign importers in regards to quality assurance.

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