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India Sets Sail: Maiden Sea Shipment of Pomegranates Marks Milestone in Export Endeavors

India Sets Sail: Maiden Sea Shipment of Pomegranates Marks Milestone in Export Endeavors


New Delhi:  In a significant stride towards expanding its agricultural export portfolio, India successfully initiated its first commercial trial shipment of Pomegranates to the United States on February 28, 2024. The historic event was conducted under the auspices of the Agricultural Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) and executed by InI Farms, a renowned fruit and vegetable exporter.

The ceremony, held at the IFC facility in MSAMB, Vashi (Navi Mumbai), witnessed the flagging off of a shipment comprising 4200 boxes, totaling 12.6 tons of premium Pomegranates. Shri Rajesh Aggarwal, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, and Shri Abhishek Dev, Chairman, APEDA, graced the occasion, along with dignitaries from various agricultural bodies, including 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.

This milestone follows APEDA’s successful air shipment of Pomegranates last year, which utilized irradiation treatment and static trials in collaboration with ICAR-NRC Pomegranate Solapur as a technical partner. The positive outcomes of these trials paved the way for this historic sea consignment, marking a crucial step in opening trade relations with potential markets for Indian Pomegranates.

India, a key global player in Pomegranate production, is now aiming to become one of the leading exporting countries. With a strong presence in the EU, Middle East, and Asian markets, this venture into the United States is expected to further bolster India’s position in the global Pomegranate trade.

InI Farms, an APEDA-registered entity, spearheaded the trial air shipment, static sea trial, and the sea container deployment. Over the years, the firm has been a significant contributor to India’s export market, exporting produce to over 25 countries worldwide. As part of the Agrostar group, InI Farms has established a robust value chain for Pomegranates, collaborating directly with farmers in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Rajasthan.

The Pomegranates for this historic shipment were sourced from Anarnet registered farmers in Sangola, Maharashtra. Notably, these farmers received a premium of 20% compared to other export markets and an impressive 35% compared to the domestic market.

Pomegranates, with their rich history and high nutritional value, hold a special place in India’s agricultural produce. The country is known for producing top-quality varieties with soft fleshy seeds, low acidity, and attractive colors, with Bhagwa Pomegranate considered among the best globally. India’s Pomegranate production has witnessed a robust growth rate of 20-25% in recent years, with Maharashtra alone contributing to over 50% of the total production.

In the fiscal year 2022-23, APEDA facilitated Pomegranate exports worth $58.36 million to various countries, including the United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Nepal, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bahrain, and Oman.

Acknowledging the importance of streamlining the supply chain, APEDA has been actively working to overcome bottlenecks in Pomegranate exports. The establishment of Export Promotion Forums (EPF) for Pomegranates is a testament to this effort, bringing together key stakeholders to further enhance the export process.

The successful sea consignment represents a significant step forward in building trust between Indian exporters and foreign importers, reaffirming India’s commitment to delivering high-quality agricultural products to the global market. This accomplishment is poised to open new avenues for Indian Pomegranates, marking a promising era in the country’s agricultural export landscape.

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