E XPORT POTENTIAL OF POMEGRANATEEXPORT POTENTIAL OF POMEGRANATE BY:- SHREYAS N.
W ORLD S CENARIO Popular in Eastern as well as Western Western parts of the world. The crop is also cultivated in the Mediterranean region. Pomegranates thrive well in regions with semi-arid to sub- tropical climatic conditions. The crop is cultivated in Spain, Iran, India, Turkey, South East Asia, Afghanistan, tropical Africa, parts of USA etc. It is grown for its fully luscious grains called ‘Arils’; the fruits are very attractive with sweet acidic taste. The fruits are mainly used for dessert purposes. The fruits are also processed to make juice, syrup, jam, jelly, wine, to flavour cakes, baked apples, etc. Of late, its nutritional and medicinal values are given ample importance.
P OMEGRANATE C ULTIVATION IN I NDIAArea - About 63,000 Hectares.Production - About 5.00 lakh tons/annumComparative Advantage - Production of Pomegranate almost throughout the year. Supply of Pomegranates even during off - season to the European Countries. Cultivation in Arid and Semi-arid tracts of the states – Karnataka, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Tamil Nadu Maharastra is the largest producer.Farmers Cultivate the crop by : Carefully selecting varieties. Adopting advanced technologies. Spurt in cultivation and trading of Pomegranate in India from the last two decades. Important varieties cultivated are Ganesh, Dholka, Seedless(Bedana), Bhagwa, Araktha. Seedless verities such as Paper Shell, Spanish Ruby, Mascut Red and Velladu show great potential Peak harvest – January to April
C ONSUMER P REFERENCE Consumer preference - changing from time to time and from country to country. Earlier, Ganesh variety with big sized fruits was the preferred one, and the fruits were exported to the Gulf countries. Now, in Europe and other parts of the world, varieties such as Bhagwa (Kesar), Mridula are the suitable and accepted ones. Soft seeded, coloured varieties with high per cent of juice with easy to remove arils are preferred. Fruits weighing more than 500 gms with superior qualities - immediate and ready acceptance in the international markets.
T HE DESIRABLE FRUIT CHARACTERS OF FRESH POMEGRANATE FOR EXPORT PURPOSE Dark rose pink colour of the fruit. Fruit weight around 500 gms. Round shape of the fruit. Uniform size and shape of the fruit in a pack or box. Dark rose pink arils. Softness of the seeds. Higher sugars near about 16-170 Brix. Free from scars, russetting, disease spots, insect injury, scratches, etc. Smooth cutting at the stem end. Bracts/calyx without any damage and having freshness. Pleasant flavour and aroma.
M ARKETING AND E XPORT P OTENTIAL No organized marketing systems for pomegranate. Domestic marketing for pomegranate is fairly balanced as of now. Farmers normally dispose their produce to contractors who take the responsibility of transport to far off markets. Some progressive farmers who have developed contacts in urban areas despatch them on their own and are able to get a reasonable price for their produce.
Changes in varietal selection and in cultivation practices. Pest and disease incidence, fall in demand and price - effect on the cultivation of pomegranate in the state. Cultivation for export purpose - improved due to exploring of market potentialities. Farmers of Bijapur and Bagalkot districts – exporting pomegranate through their associations to Gulf and European Union for the last 5 years. Koppal district - New entrant – Exports began in 2004.
E XPORT P OTENTIAL The pomegranate fruit is considered an exotic in European and Middle East countries. There is scope for exporting Indian pomegranates to Bangladesh, Bahrain, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, Kuwait, Sri Lanka, Omen, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Switzerland, U.A.E. and U.S.A. The other potential markets are, Belgaum, Spain, France, Italy, Netherlands, Philippines, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico.
P OMEGRANATE IN K ARNATAKA Advent of Ganesh variety revolutionized pomegranate cultivation in Northern Karnataka especially in the districts of Bijapur, Bagalkot, Koppal and Raichur. In the initial years, big sized fruits with TSS 15 Brix were exported mainly to the Gulf countries.
S UCCESS S TORY Kustagi and Yelburga taluks of Koppal district – remote and most backward areas of the State. Poor rainfall, frequent droughts, high temperature, soils are also either calcarious or sodic. Low precipitation levels and distribution of rainfall have added to the crop failures. Predominant crop – Agricultural crops and onion and chillies. Horticultural crops – Grapes, Pomegranate, Banana, Mango, Ber, Sweet orange have been grown since the last two decades. Cultivation of Pomegranate – Farmers have been pro-active in adopting new technology for cultivation and post harvest handling of Pomegranate.
Benefited from the efforts of the State Department of Horticulture in training the farmers in export oriented production. Training Programmes – conducted in the farmers’ fields in six steps, in collaboration with the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) during 2003. Farmers given suitable guidance regarding cultivation and care of regulating the number of fruits, irrigation with fertigation, plant protection schedule and care in harvesting. Out of 50 farmers trained, nearly 30 farmers were successful and 20 farmers exported the produce. Exports started in 2004.
About 250 tons of pomegranate were exported from this small area and volume of trade was in the tune of Rs.8.50 crores. The produce fetched a price of Rs.35,000/- (750 $) per ton. On an average, they have exported 7.5 – 10 tons of fruits per hectare remaining 10 – 12. 5 tons were sold locally. Farmers have earned about Rs.4.5 lakhs to 5.75 lakhs per hectare (9600 – 12300 $. Incurred an expenditure of Rs.75,000/- per hectare (1600 $). Net Profit - Rs.3.75 lakhs to Rs.5.00 lakhs per hectare (8000 – 10700 $); in some cases, it has crossed Rs.6.25 lakhs per hectare (13400 $). Farmers convinced about- profitability of pomegranate cultivation as there is considerable demand for the pomegranate grown in the region.
India’s contribution to the export is less than 5%, although we are in first position in production of Pomegranate. Scope for diversified use of pomegranate and hence value added products can be promoted. Consumer preference, colour,TSS and demand for crop are important aspects to be focused upon. Time of export, choice of variety, quality maintenance and regulation of fruit size are important aspects in the production of pomegranate for export.
P OMEGRANATE – I NTERNATIONAL S CENARIO The technical sessions during the International Symposium on Pomegranate and Minor Mediterranean Fruits held at Adana, Turkey, from October 16– 19, 2006 comprised of - Orchard Culture and Management – Countries of focus were Bangladesh, Israel, Iran, Turkey and India. Genetic Conservation and Germplasm. Physiology. Breeding and Genetics. Nutrition and Health. Plant Protection. Post Harvest Technology. Processing, Marketing & Economy.
Israel and Turkey have taken up varietal trials on Pomegranate. Iran too has been in the forefront with regard to research on Pomegranate. There is a lot of germplasm / breeding collection in Iran, Israel and also Turkey. Exchange of germplasm between countries if not available in research stations will go a long way in developing new varieties. Most of the varieties in the Mediterranean region are sour with few sweet varieties. Sweet sour varieties with good colour are not common.
Bacterial Blight (Xanthomonas sp.) and Wilt are not a major problem in other pomegranate growing countries as the same was not presented / discussed by scientists (Pathologists) in the symposium. Our Sweet sour variety Bhagwa (Kesar) and Wonderful variety of U.S in Italy found appreciation in general and are suited for marketing in the international market. One of the findings presented was that sweetness in pomegranates is not only due to sugar content but also due to low acidic content. Nutritional aspects of pomegranate were discussed and it is felt that it can enhance its utility. Value addition is also important to increase the acceptability of pomegranates by consumers.
Of late, Indian Pomegranates have penetrated into the European Union since suitable varieties conforming to international standards are being produced. Karnataka has exported about 2000 MT to other countries during the last few years. There is potential for export to the United State of America also. Diseases such as Bacterial Blight, Wilt, etc., have created problems in obtaining economic yields. In view of the scope for value addition in pomegranate for alternative use, medicinal uses of pomegranate, better shelf life, and the export potential, its cultivation in the semi-arid areas under protected irrigation needs to be encouraged. Proper varietal selection, crop and post harvest management, infrastructure such as cold chain, facilities for marketing etc, will augment the cultivation of quality pomegranate and will help in increasing the exports to a tune of about 20,000 – 30,000 MT tons. In this background, India can definitely make a dent in pomegranate trade in the world market.
India has a very good potential provided we meet the quality standards of the importing countries. The exports can be enhanced from the present 3000 – 4000 MT tons to about 20,000 – 30,000 tons. A presentation was made regarding aril separating machine for pomegranates in Israel – which separates arils to different grades. Similar mechanization may be tried in India also. A presentation was also made by a firm based in United Kingdom regarding different packaging films to enhance the shelf life of fruits under normal temperature.
Different grades of films suitable for other fruits, vegetables, flowers are also available. Such grades of films can be tried for packing traditional flowers / loose flowers like jasmine, etc. Dubai Airport has developed an extensive cargo system to handle perishable cargos in an area of 34,000 Sq.Mtr. with a capacity of 1.80 lakh tons per year. Alstemier Airport and Dubai Airport are mainly providing facilities for C & F agents for downloading and uploading cargos.