Thursday, August 7, 2008

Pomegranate potential

"After a handful of farmers toyed with the idea of exporting pomegranates to Europe and Middle East last year, this season a significant number of them are exploring the overseas market.

Farmers from Pune, Sangli and Solapur districts are the ones who initiated pomegranate farming, a shift from the conventional crop pattern. Last year, 12 farmers had obtained the ‘global gap’ certificate while this year 54 have got it and there are more in the pipeline.

Pomegranate is apparently turning out to be the second most popular export fruit after mango. At present, Maharashtra has two export processing centres at Indapur and Baramati, both in Pune district. The export season began in July and will last till September and so far 72 tonnes of the fruit has been dispatched to middle east and Europe. Another container from Indapur would be sent in the next week, said Santosh Patil, deputy general manager of Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB).

“Farmers are getting rates ranging from Rs 35 to Rs 52 per kg. The next season is from November to March when farmers are likely to get up to Rs 75 per kg. Most of the farmers use ‘Bhagva’ variety of pomegranate,” Patil said.

The state bears 50 per cent of the expenditure in getting the export certificate. The government wants to promote more and more farmers venture into such businesses, hence it is offering such benefits."

From The Times of India. Rs 50 is equal to $ 1.2 or 1,800 LBP. And think about it: minimal post harvest losses as the product can be stored and shipped more easily than apples or stone fruits

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