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Exports of products under APEDA basket rose from USD 17,321 million during 2011-12 to USD 20,674 million during 2020-21.

Jan 03, 2022

India’s agricultural and processed food exports have grown at a steady pace in the last decade notwithstanding several logistical challenges faced in the global trade of the commodities.
Exports of agricultural and processed food products under Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) basket rose to USD 20,674 million (Rs 15,30,50 crore) during 2020-21, from USD 17,321 million (Rs 83,484 crore) in 2011-12, according to data by the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCI&S).
Non-Basmati Rice has emerged as India’s top export item among the many agricultural and processed food product exports under APEDA basket, contributing close to one fourth of the total exports in 2020-21.
Top three products in the APEDA export basket in 2020-21 were Non-Basmati Rice (23.22% share), Basmati Rice (19.44%) and Buffalo Meat (15.34%) and these products together account for 58 per cent of total shipments.
India’s Non-Basmati rice exports was valued at USD 4799.91 million (Rs 35,477 crore) in 2020-21, with Basmati Rice exports a close second at USD 4018.71 million (Rs 29,850 crore), followed by Buffalo Meat exports at USD 3171.19 million (Rs23,460 crore).
Benin, Nepal, Bangladesh, Senegal and Togo were the top importers of Non-Basmati Rice from India in 2020-21. Major export destinations for Basmati Rice in 2020-21 were Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Yemen and United Arab Emirates. For Buffalo Meat exports, the top importing nations were Hong Kong, Vietnam, Malaysia, Egypt and Indonesia.
'We continue to focus on creating infrastructure for boosting exports by focusing on clusters in collaboration with state governments while taking into consideration aim of Agriculture Export Policy, 2018,' Dr M Angamuthu, Chairman, APEDA, said. 
APEDA has been engaged with State Governments for the implementation of Agriculture Export Policy. Maharashtra, U.P., Kerala, Nagaland, Tamil Nadu, Assam, Punjab, Karnataka, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Manipur, Sikkim, Uttarakhand, M.P., Mizoram and Meghalaya have finalized the State Specific Action Plan for exports while the action plans of other States are at different stages of finalization.
According to World Trade Organization (WTO) data, India’s agricultural exports touched USD 37,371 million in 2019 against USD 23,106 million in 2010, recording a compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.49 per cent during the last ten years. CAGR of the world's agricultural exports was 3.11 per cent during 2010 to 2019.
India’s share in world agricultural exports stood at 2.1 per cent in 2019, moving up from 1.71 per cent in 2010. However, India’s rank in worldwide agricultural exports slipped to 16 in 2019 from 17 in 2010, according to data released by the World Trade Organization (WTO).
In terms of share of top ten products exports under APEDA basket, there has not been much change in the last one decade even as India’s exports reached more countries across the world. The top ten APEDA exports in share terms in 2020-21 were Non-Basmati Rice (23.22%), Basmati Rice (19.44%), Buffalo Meat (15.34%), Miscellaneous Preparations (3.84%), Groundnuts (3.52%), Cereal Preparations (3.08%), Maize (3.07%), Wheat (2.66%), Processed Vegetables (2.43%), Processed Fruits, Juices & Nuts (2.07%) and Cashew Kernels (2.03%).
In 2011-12, the top ten APEDA export in share terms were Guargum (19.89%), Basmati Rice (18.60%), Buffalo Meat (16.56%), Non-Basmati Rice (10.43%), Groundnuts (6.32%), Maize (6.21%), Cereal Preparations (2.26%), Fresh Onions (2.07%), Alcoholic Beverages (1.76%) and Processed Vegetables (1.47%).
In 2020-21, the top ten products in the APEDA export basket account for more than 78 per cent in total exports against 85 per cent in 2010-11.
Top ten APEDA exports in value terms during 2020-21 were Non-Basmati Rice (USD 4799.91 million / Rs 35,477 crore), Basmati Rice (USD 4018.71 million / Rs 29,850 crore), Buffalo Meat (USD 3171.19 million / Rs 23,460 crore), Miscellaneous Preparations (USD 793.08 million / Rs 5,866 crore), Groundnuts (USD 727.4 million / Rs 5,382 crore), Cereal Preparations (USD 635.75 million / Rs 4,706 crore), Maize (USD 634.85 million / Rs 4,676 crore), Wheat (USD 549.7 million / Rs 4,038 crore), Processed Vegetables (USD 502million / Rs 3,719 crore) and Processed Fruits, Juices & Nuts (USD 428million / Rs 3,173 crore).
Top ten APEDA exports in value terms during 2011-12 were Guargum (USD 3446.37million / Rs 16,524 crore), Basmati Rice (USD 3222.31 million / Rs 15,450 crore), Buffalo Meat (USD 2869.36 million / Rs 13,757 crore), Non-Basmati Rice (USD 1806.03 million / Rs 8,659 crore), Groundnuts (USD 1094.25 million / Rs 5,246 crore), Maize (USD 1075.7 million / Rs 5,158 crore), Cereal Preparations (USD 392.21 million / Rs 1,889 crore), Fresh Onions (USD 359.36 million / Rs 1,723 crore), Alcoholic Beverages (USD 304.4 million / Rs 1,459 crore) and Processed Vegetables (USD 254.56 million / Rs 1,250 crore).
The rise in export of agricultural and processed food products has been largely due to the various initiatives taken by APEDA such as organizing B2B exhibitions in different countries, exploring new potential markets through product specific and general marketing campaigns by active involvement of Indian Embassies.
APEDA has also taken several initiatives to promote geographical indications (GI) registered agricultural and processed food products in India by organizing virtual Buyer Seller Meets on agricultural and food products with the major importing countries across the world.
In order to ensure seamless quality certification of products to be exported, APEDA has recognized 220 labs across India to provide services of testing to a wide range of products and exporters.
APEDA also assists in up-gradation and strengthening of recognized laboratories for export testing and residue monitoring plans. APEDA also provides assistance under the financial assistance schemes of infrastructure development, quality improvement and market development for boosting export of agricultural products.
APEDA organizes participation of exporters in the International Trade Fairs, which provides a platform to the exporters to market their food products in the global marketplace. APEDA also organizes National events like AAHAR, Organic World Congress, BioFach India etc. to promote agri-exports.
APEDA also initiates registration of pack-houses for horticulture products for meeting the quality requirements of the international market. Registration of export units for peanut shelling and grading and processing units, for instance, is to ensure quality adherence for the EU and non EU countries.
APEDA carries out registration of meat processing plants and abattoirs for ensuring compliance with global food safety and quality requirements. Another key initiative includes development and implementation of traceability systems which ensure the food safety and quality compliances of the importing countries. For boosting exports, APEDA compiles and disseminates various international trade analytical information, market access information amongst exporters and address trade enquiries.

India bans Kiwi fruit import from Iran on rise in pest infested consignments.

Dec 17, 2021

India has suspended import of fresh Kiwi fruits from Iran due to rise in pest infested consignments from the middle eastern nation despite repeated warnings, according to the Union Agriculture Ministry.        
'The phytosanitary certificates issued by the NPPO, Iran from 8 December, 2021 for fresh Kiwi fruits shall not be entertained from our end,' the ministry said in a letter written to its Iranian counterpart in NPPO.
Since October 2021, India has intercepted quarantine pest 'Aspidiotus netil' in 22 consignments and 'Pseudococcu Calceolariae' pest in two Kiwi fruit consignments, it said.     
The pest infested consignments of Kiwi fruits from Iran have increased despite repeated warning to take action to comply with the quality norms set by India, it said.         
Earlier in 2019 too, India had intercepted a quarantine pest called 'Aspidiotus netil' from 13 consignments and non-quarantine pest 'Aonidiella aurantii' from two consignments of Kiwi fruits from Iran, it added.         
The ministry further said, 'The non-compliance report has ben sent on regular basis to Iran for these consignments but so far no action has been taken nor the interception have decreased.'         
It said introduction of any quarantine pests through infested import consignments is a threat to Indian biosecurity and is dealt under the provisions of Indian regulation.   

Poland exports no more than 40% of apples

Apr 08, 2015

“This will not happen right away,” Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki told the PAP news agency, adding that at first, the export of apples will unlikely exceed 40 percent of Poland’s needs.

The Minister explained that for a long time, the main recipient of Polish apples was Russia. This changed because of the trade embargo with the EU.

“At the moment – due to the closure of the Russian market – we must look for markets around the world and this, unfortunately, will not be completely successful in the short term.

“In my view, we [currently] sell no more than 40 percent of what we would like to export to foreign markets,” Sawicki said.

“Every market, whether it be India, Indonesia, Singapore, or the United States, is very much needed.

“We should not be discouraged by the fact that at the beginning we sell there a few tens of thousands of tonnes, because that could later develop into millions,” Minister Sawicki said.

“We should develop these outposts, it is worth making the effort.”

At present, the largest recipient of Polish apples is Belarus. The country receives 28 percent of apples from Poland.

- See more at:,Agriculture-Ministry-Poland-exports-no-more-than-40-of-apples#sthash.G6xNMc9w.dpuf

“This will not happen right away,” Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki told the PAP news agency, adding that at first, the export of apples will unlikely exceed 40 percent of Poland’s needs.

The Minister explained that for a long time, the main recipient of Polish apples was Russia. This changed because of the trade embargo with the EU.

“At the moment – due to the closure of the Russian market – we must look for markets around the world and this, unfortunately, will not be completely successful in the short term.

“In my view, we [currently] sell no more than 40 percent of what we would like to export to foreign markets,” Sawicki said.

“Every market, whether it be India, Indonesia, Singapore, or the United States, is very much needed.

“We should not be discouraged by the fact that at the beginning we sell there a few tens of thousands of tonnes, because that could later develop into millions,” Minister Sawicki said.

“We should develop these outposts, it is worth making the effort.”

At present, the largest recipient of Polish apples is Belarus. The country receives 28 percent of apples from Poland.

- See more at:,Agriculture-Ministry-Poland-exports-no-more-than-40-of-apples#sthash.G6xNMc9w.dpuf

“This will not happen right away,” Agriculture Minister Marek Sawicki told the PAP news agency, adding that at first, the export of apples will unlikely exceed 40 percent of Poland’s needs.

The Minister explained that for a long time, the main recipient of Polish apples was Russia. This changed because of the trade embargo with the EU.

“At the moment – due to the closure of the Russian market – we must look for markets around the world and this, unfortunately, will not be completely successful in the short term.

“In my view, we [currently] sell no more than 40 percent of what we would like to export to foreign markets,” Sawicki said.

“Every market, whether it be India, Indonesia, Singapore, or the United States, is very much needed.

“We should not be discouraged by the fact that at the beginning we sell there a few tens of thousands of tonnes, because that could later develop into millions,” Minister Sawicki said.

“We should develop these outposts, it is worth making the effort.”

At present, the largest recipient of Polish apples is Belarus. The country receives 28 percent of apples from Poland.

Source: Radio Poland

Advantage India from rich fruit pickings in Europe, US

Dec 31, 2014

In a country where transportation can be notoriously tough to execute, importer and marketer of fresh fruits IG International has decided to take the bull by the horns to ensure a smooth logistics network.

With new plantings in Europe, the company is looking forward to supplementing the fruit supplies that it ships throughout the country and the rest of the world.

The company has made huge investments in controlled atmosphere and cold storage infrastructure as well as reefer trucks.

Record harvest

“We procure fresh produce from over 15 countries and handle nearly 30 different varieties of fruits,” said Tarun Arora, Director, IG International, adding, “Other than imports, we are also the largest exporters of grapes and potatoes to Russia and Europe.”

Noting that most foreign markets were flooded with a record crop of fruits, Arora added: “There is a huge economic opportunity next year. With an increase in fruit production especially from the US, the record crop could bring down prices of imported fruit in India.”

The company’s fleet of over 50 refrigerated trucks has turned out to be a big advantage.

Arora told BusinessLine that the company has wholesale outlets, distribution centres and cold rooms in 22 cities, and around 50 reefer vehicles that handle a large volume of imported fresh fruit every year.

IG International has 12 cold storages with a capacity of over 25,000 tonnes and has set up a large cold storage facility in Chennai at 5,000 tonnes , and in Delhi at 10,000 tonnes and in other cities. It has drawn up plans to further invest in infrastructural facilities to grow its business.

Imported fruits

Other than apples, pears, cherries and plums, the imported fruit market in the country is awash with exotic fruits such as Dragon Fruit and Rambutan with truckloads – a daily sight at the Agricultural Produce Marketing Committee (APMC) markets.

India does not allow import of mangoes, bananas and pineapples, to support indigenous production, said Arora, adding that apples, grapes, kiwi, plums and peaches were, however, for the taking.

Even as imported fruits tickle the taste buds of Indian consumers, Arora said, “Given the high quantity of imported apples coming into the country, it has raised the bar for Indian apples.”

Explaining further, he added that while imported apples tend to retail at around ?120-150 a kg in the APMC market, domestically grown apples have also jacked up their price from the ?60-80 to ?100-120.

Organic farming

IG International is a family owned firm, headed by Chairman GC Arora.

With an annual turnover of around ?250 crore, the company imports close to 1,500 containers of fruits annually from major global companies.

Arora said that importers are being asked to downplay the use of pesticides.


Pomegranate export peaks suddenly

Apr 01, 2014

There has been a sudden and sharp rise in the quantities of pomegranate being exported to the Gulf countries in the past fortnight. The quantity of the fruit exported has doubled from 500 to 1,000 tonnes, claim traders, much of which is being shipped out in containers. Exporters have attributed this trend to an abundance of local production of the fruit.

Kaniaya Nishad, an exporter, said, “In India, pomegranate is commercially cultivated in Solapur, Sangli, Nashik, Ahmednagar, Pune, Dhule, Aurangabad, Satara, Osmanabad and Latur districts of Maharashtra; Bijapur, Belgaum and Bagalkot districts of Karnataka, and to a smaller extent in Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.” He added, “Presently, however, large quantities of the produce are coming in from Maharashtra.”

Retail costlier
He continued, “The pomegranate is a 12-month fruit, but suddenly the quantities have shot up. Although the fruit is being sold for Rs 120 a kg in the wholesale market, the retail price is much higher. Only those fruits which are 200-500 gram in weight are being exported.”

Traders also say that there has been a dip in the quantity of pomegranates from Pakistan, which usually compete with Indian produce in the Gulf countries. Since the fruit has a water-laden pulp, it is in great demand in the West Asian countries, where temperatures usually soar at this time of the year.

Ram Morde, a trader, said, “The fruit is used to make juices, so it is popular in summer. The export of mangoes has not started in bulk, and till that starts, this may continue to find many takers. However, once the peak season of mangoes sets in, one would have to see how much chance the fruit stands.”


Strawberry Festival on in full swing at Mumbai’s Peninsula Grand Hotel

Mar 07, 2014

Mumbai’s Peninsula Grand Hotel has conceptualised a twenty-day Strawberry Festival named Berry Berry Strawberries. It is currently underway at the hotel 24x7 coffee shop, Carafe.

Crystal Mendonca, the hotel’s executive chef, has planned an elaborate menu, comprising beverages, soups, main courses (vegetarian and non-vegetarian), salads and desserts. Each of these would have the fruit as an ingredient.

It comprises three beverages - Strawberry Fizz (priced at Rs 200); Strawberry Lassi (Rs 190), and Strawberry and Banana Preparado (a coconut-flavoured banana and strawberry shake with grenadine, priced at Rs 250).

The two soups [Spanish-style Strawberry Gazpacho (a chilled concoction of vine ripened tomatoes with garlic, cucumber and zingy strawberries), and Canadian Style Cheese Soup with Strawberries (a blend of mozzarella, parmesan and cheddar cheese with strawberries)] are priced at Rs 175.

The vegetarian main course comprises two variants - Paneer and Strawberry Chilli (cottage cheese in a yin-yang avatar, priced at Rs 350) and Paneer and Sweet Pepper Tacos (with a spicy strawberry salsa, priced at Rs 325).

The non-vegetarian main course comprises one dish - Prawns in Thai Chilly Basil (batter-fried prawns with strawberries in chilly basil). These are priced either at Rs 300, Rs 350 or Rs 650.

There are two kinds of salad - Strawberry Raita (a creamy yoghurt with strawberries, priced at Rs 150) and Summer Fruit Salad (which comprises strawberries, melon and black grapes, tossed with mint and orange dressing, and is priced at Rs 250).

The dessert range comprises Jharberi Ka Meetha (a combination of ghee-roasted bread slices with rose-petal jam, rabdi and strawberries, priced at Rs 200); Strawberry Rabdi Kulfi (served with falooda sev and priced at Rs 250); Chocolate and Strawberry Trifle (chocolate sponge cake covered with rich chocolate and strawberry cream, priced at Rs 200); Sizzling Strawberry Blondie with Ice-Cream (a white chocolate and strawberry bake with strawberry ice-cream, priced at Rs 250).


Orissa: Farm steps to bear fruit

Mar 04, 2014

Farmers can now grow exotic fruits, flowers and vegetables in their backyard. Chief minister Naveen Patnaik inaugurated a centre of excellence, horticulture, at Deras farm on the outskirts of the city on Sunday. The centre, developed with latest technical knowhow from Israel on 25 acre, will produce quality saplings and seedlings.

"Superior-quality planting materials will be produced in controlled conditions, which will help farmers save their produce from pest attacks. The centre will encourage farmers to cultivate exportable flowers, fruits and vegetables," said agriculture secretary Rajesh Verma.

Different varieties of flowers like gerbera, rose, lilium, chrysanthemum, bird of paradise, marigold, gladiolus, tuberose and high-value vegetables like zucchini, red cabbage and broccoli along with common varieties will be cultivated. Latest technologies like poly houses, high-tech vegetable nurseries, greenhouses, net houses in naturally-ventilated high tunnels and open fields with drip and mulching will be used for high-yielding varieties of flowers and vegetables.

The centre, developed at an estimated cost of Rs 20 crore, will produce as many as five lakh seedlings a month. "The Israeli techniques will not allow pests from entering the farm, cutting down on pesticide use," said Verma. Odisha produces 89.61 lakh matric tonne of vegetables annually. According to present consumption pattern, it is estimated that around 380 matric tonne vegetables are required a day in Bhubaneswar market alone, official sources said.

Source: timesofindia

Himachal Pradesh: Snow, rain brighten prospects of bumper apple, rabi crops

Feb 18, 2014

The fresh spell of moderate to heavy snowfall, followed by widespread rain in the tropical and sub-tropical zones, has brightened the prospects of bumper apple crop in the state this year. This would help improve the chances of better rabi crop production, especially in the rain-fed areas.

The prevailing weather conditions in the apple-growing belts, besides moderating the day temperature, have helped meet the required temperature for deciduous fruit orchards.

If the temperature, rainfall and average relative humidity remain favourable till the time of flowering and fruit setting, the apple production would break the previous year's record of 8 lakh tonnes.

So far, more 155cm snowfall has been recorded in the apple-growing regions, and the temperature has also remained below the freezing point for most of the period. Till date, 1,600 chilling hours (temperature below 7° Celsius) have already been met in January and February, considered most favourable for good apple crop.

Kandaghat regional horticultural research station's former head AS Kashyap said, "Since snowfall has been received intermittently, it will help in providing adequate moisture level in soil for a longer duration, which is required for better fruit production."

Dr YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry vice-chancellor Vijay Singh Thakur said, "The rain and snowfall, besides helping meet the requirement of 600 to 1,400 hours in deciduous fruit-growing areas, have also hopefully decreased the chances of erratic flowering in orchards."

He added that besides lessening the chances of insect and pest attacks, precipitation and decrease in day temperature would help stop premature blooming in deciduous fruit orchards and also fulfill the requirement of relative humidity factor and natural irrigation system.

Member of the national executive of Bharatiya Janata Party's Kisan Morcha Devinder Thakur said widespread rain had come as a "boon" to the farming community, as it had helped meet the soil moisture requirement for various rabi crops in the state.

Economy driver
Apple occupies about half of the total area under fruit production in Himachal, and contributes nearly 90% to the total fruit production. Apple is being grown over one lakh hectare in Shimla, Mandi, Kinnaur, Lahaul and Sipiti, Chamba and parts of Solan and Sirmour districtse during the past few decades, and apple cultivation has played a major role in transforming the socio-economic conditions of the growers.


Kerala: Munnar emerging as strawberry hub

Feb 14, 2014

Tourists coming to Kerala will soon have a mouth- watering incentive to visit the hill station of Munnar. They can walk into any outlet of the Kerala State Horticultural Products Development Corporation (Horticorp) in Munnar and buy a range of processed products made from strawberry cultivated by local farmers.

With farmers in Munnar and other temperate areas in Idukki district taking to the cultivation of strawberry in a big way, the State Horticultural Mission Kerala (SHM-K)) has embarked on a project to provide critical support facilities for procurement, marketing and value- addition of the high- value crop.

On Friday, Agriculture Minister K.P.Mohanan is scheduled to inaugurate the new strawberry processing unit established at Munnar with financial assistance from the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) scheme and Horticorp. Set up at a cost of Rs.1 crore, the plant has a capacity to process 1.5 tonnes of strawberry per day, which can be upgraded to 15 tonnes per day. It is equipped with pre cooling chambers and cold storage facility.

Apart from strawberry preserve, the unit will also manufacture other value added products like strawberry jam and squash. During the off season period for strawberry, it can process other fruits like mango, peach, plum, pear, apple and passion fruit, grown by farmers in Vattavada, Kanthalloor, and Munnar, under a fruit belt programme taken up by SHM-K.

Mission Director K.Prathapan told The Hindu that Horticorp would procure the strawberry directly from farmers. Strawberry varieties like Winter Dawn, Sweet Charlie, Camerosa and Festival are cultivated organically in 625 acres in Munnar and other parts of Idukki. The fruit is harvested from February to mid- May.

“Since strawberry is a highly perishable fruit, processing is to be initiated within a few hours after harvest. The plant will employ a team of women trained at the Central Food Technological Research Institute, Mysore”, Dr.Prathapan said.

The products manufactured at the processing plant will be marketed under Horticorp’s Safe- to- Eat brand named Amruth. The entire range will be available across the state in due course, Dr.Prathapan said.

Horticorp is planning to develop a farm tourism model in Idukki. It is also drawing up a project to introduce more products like strawberry crush and strawberry candy in the market. “In time we hope to replicate the success of Mahabaleshwar in Maharashtra, the main hub of strawberry cultivation in India”, says Dr.Prathapan.

Source: Business Line

Export boom makes pomegranate fruitful for Maharashtra farmers

Feb 10, 2014

With the export market for pomegranates picking up, farmers across Maharashtra are switching to the fruit, which is more remunerative than grapes. Around 30,000 to 40,000 hectares are now come under pomegranate cultivation as against 10,000-15,000 hectares last year, said Prabhakar Chandane, chairman, Maharashtra Pomegranate Growers Research Association.

Maharashtra contributes 90% of the country's total pomegranate production.

Although there is no clear data available, there are reports of farmers making a shift to pomegranates since this fruit commands a better price in the market as opposed to grapes, he said.

Farmers get Rs 100-125 a kg for pomegranates as opposed to Rs 30-35 a kg for grapes and therefore this is being seen as a more remunerative crop, he explained.

Barring Vidarbha, farmers in Gadchiroli, Konkan and Marathwada are also shifting to pomegranates. In Satana, Deola and Malegaon areas, pomegranate farmers have changed their preference to grapes, while in grape areas such as Niphad, farmers are planting pomegranates. Around 9 lakh tonnes of pomegranate production is expected this year as against 8 lakh last year.

Exports have also picked up and Indian pomegranates are now going to Colombo, West Asia, Russia and Europe, Chandane said. The UK, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Netherlands, Egypt, Turkey, Bahrain and Kuwait are other important markets for pomegranates. This year around 40,000 tonnes of pomegranates are expected to be exported as against 30,000 tonnes last year. Last year, pomegranates fetched farmers a price of Rs 150 per kg in the international markets. On the other hand, grape exports were affected due to reports of residual content and export norms for grapes are very strict, he said.

Maharashtra has 85,000 hectares of pomegranate orchards with the largest being in Solapur with 28,000 hectares, followed by Nashik with 25,000 hectares. 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.

New areas under pomegranate include Nagpur, Latur, Osmanabad and Washim. In addition to Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, TN, Karnataka and AP have also begun growing pomegranates with the area under cultivation going up to 1,25,000 hectares in the last three years.


Banana production increases in TN

Dec 31, 2013

The production of banana in Tamil Nadu has increased over the past four years to more than eight million tonnes in 2012-13.

Agriculture company Syngenta India in a statement said this was compared to the total industry production of 30.8 million tonnes during the same period.

“In 2009-10, the production of banana in Tamil Nadu was over 4.9 million tonnes”, it said.

Meanwhile, at the ongoing Tamil Nadu Banana Festival in Coimbatore, the company’s stall was inaugurated by the State Agriculture Minister S Damodaran. Trade body Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Tamil Nadu Banana Growers Federation are organising the festival in Coimbatore.

As part of offering its services to banana growers in banana cultivation due to diseases affecting the crop, Syngenta India Commercial Unit Head, Katragada Phanindra said his company has conducted over 45 mega farmer training programmes to educate them on crop protection.


Plan to export 10,000 tonnes of banana to Gulf countries

Dec 10, 2013

Massive plans are on to export 10,000 tonnes of banana to the Gulf countries from the district, according to Agricultural Production Commissioner Sandeep Saxena.

Inspecting hybrid banana farms in Chinnamanur near here on Thursday, he said that the quality of banana being grown in the district was very good and the fruits were uniform in colour. Moreover, their shelf life was also long and the fruits met all requirements for export.

While taking steps to tap export markets, measures were being taken to expand the area under tissue-cultured banana cultivation to 10,000 hectares from the present 6,000 hectares to meet the growing demand, he added.

The State government had allotted Rs.1.2 lakh crore for agriculture development under its Vision 2023 Plan, according special importance to 10 crops including banana. All required technologies and advanced crop management techniques would be offered to farmers to boost production and scale down production costs.

With effective propagation of drip irrigation system among banana growers, almost all of them in the district had switched over to drip irrigation. Such facility had scaled down use of fertilizers, reduced maintenance costs and cut down weed growth in farms. Moreover, the use of water too reduced substantially. All required inputs reached the root directly and it protected soil fertility.

Form clusters

The Commissioner also advised farmers to form banana clusters to produce banana on a large scale and to enable buyers to procure banana from one spot. Moreover, clusters could handle bulk orders easily and ensure instant supply of large quantities of banana in uniform quality and size. Cluster members would get more assistance under the National Horticulture Mission. Ultimately, profit margin would go up if they sold their produces through clusters, he advised.

Horticulture Commissioner Satyapradha Sahu said that Theni district topped in the State in banana production and stood in the seventh place as far as total area under banana cultivation was concerned.

Collector K.S. Palanisamy said that the government had constructed a banana processing and ripening chamber to process banana at source.

Besides, seven private processing centres too have been functioning to meet the growing demand.

Earlier, banana growers had sent the raw banana to Bangalore for ripening. Some progressive farmers had been exporting hybrid banana to Singapore and Central Asian countries, he added.

The Commissioners also visited farms at Vadapudhupatti, Madhurapuri, Unjampatti villages.

Source: The Hindu

Custom duty hike in Bangladesh hits orange exports in W.Bengal

Nov 28, 2013

Indian exporters have appealed to the Bangladesh Government to reduce the hiked custom duty imposed on oranges to facilitate cross-border trade between the two countries.

Exporters are facing the brunt, as North Bengal is accountable for millions of rupees every year through the trade of oranges between the months of November and January.

The fruit is found in abundance in the hilly sub-divisions of Darjeeling, Kerseong and Kalimpong during this time of the year.

Recently, there was significant improvement in trade relations between the two countries.

In 2010-11, two-way trade crossed the USD 5 billion mark as a result of a significant increase in Bangladesh's exports to India (68 percent over the previous year) and India's exports to Bangladesh (43 percent over the previous year).

Currently, Bangladesh imports products worth over USD 4 billion from India while India imports products worth less than USD 1 billion, annually.

Irate exporter Baburam Prasad said: "There is lot of demand for the oranges but this year it is costing too much. The export is not taking place due to high custom duty. We hope that the duty gets reduced but it is not happening. If the government takes a step then it will reduce."

"We demand that if Bangladesh reduces the duty then export of oranges can take place," added Baburam.

Every year, the transaction with Bangladesh concerning the orange trade increases to 20 million.

But unfortunately, this year, the export is very poor due to the customs duty of Rs. 40 per kilogram charged on oranges by Bangladesh Customs.

Another exporter, Biddut Das, said: "Earlier oranges in huge quantities were exported to Bangladesh due to its demand. But exports have reduced, as custom duty is high. Oranges are being exported directly from Bhutan, as the custom duty is not too high."

Tariff concessions granted by India to Bangladesh under SAFTA (South Asian Free Trade Area) (as SAARC LDC) include a zero-duty market access for all, but 480 items in the sensitive list. India had further increased the duty-free access to 10 million pieces of readymade garments (RMG) from Bangladesh every year.

India is upgrading seven main borders Land Customs Stations (LCS) as Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) at a total cost of rupees 467 crores (rupees 4.67 billion). ICPs will have facilities for immigration, customs, parking, banks, warehousing, quarantine and fuelling etc.

The measure will help improve trade with Bangladesh across West Bengal, Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram.

Bilateral investment will be facilitated by the recent conclusion of the 'Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Agreement' and 'Convention for the Avoidance of Double Taxation' between the two countries.

It is hoped that Bangladesh investments in India will increase with easing of local currency transfer restrictions.

Given the geographical proximity, warm and friendly ties, availability of workforce and investment-supportive atmosphere, the quantum of Indian investment and trade with Bangladesh is further expected to improve for mutual benefit.

Source: Yahoo News

Kerala Pineapple Mission launch on Thursday

Nov 21, 2013

The Kerala Pineapple Mission, after nearly two years in the making, will get under way on Thursday.

Farmers have set high expectations after the mission stated its goal of “addressing the A to Z” of pineapple business. Minister for Agriculture K.P. Mohanan will launch the mission on Thursday at Vazhakkulam, the heart of pineapple business in the State.

“If the mission works according to its stated objectives and plans that have been firmed up it will be a great boost to the pineapple business in the State,” said John Kalappurakkal, president of Pineapple Farmers’ Association, which represents around 2,000 farmers in the State.

“The mission’s aim is to take Kerala pineapple, renowned for its aroma and taste, to the world market and establish it firmly there,” said V.V. Pushpangadan, Additional Director of Agriculture and Special Officer, Pineapple Mission.

He said the mission would address all issues related to pineapple cultivation, marketing and ensure farmers get remunerative prices in the face of serious challenges posed by frequent fluctuation in prices.

Increasing production, expanding export and product diversification are key areas the mission will immediately focus on. Though known for its qualities as a fresh fruit, pineapple from Vazhakkulam and neighbouring areas have not succeeded in capturing the export market in a big way. The reasons behind this lack of success is expected to be taken up immediately.

Minister for Finance K.M. Mani had announced plans to set up the Pineapple Mission in the 2012-13 Budget and set aside Rs.1 crore for the initial work. Mr. Pushpangadan said formalities such as registration of the mission and constitution of the governing council had been completed.

Pineapple prices

Meanwhile, the price of pineapple continues to be remunerative for the farmers at Rs.28 a kg for the best quality ripe fruit at Vazhakkulam.

The price of raw fruits, being exported to centres such as Delhi, was Rs.26 a kg while fruits of lower grade were being sold at an average Rs.24 a kg.

“Though farmers have reported about 30 per cent crop loss and damage on account of incessant rain in July and August, the effects have tapered off now,” said Baby John, a farmer in Moovattupuzha. Fruit quality was expected to improve now, he said.

The consistent wet weather during the evenings and sunshine during the day had improved the quality and weight of the fruit, which in themselves was boosting profitability by about 30 per cent, he said. Kerala produces around three lakh tonnes of pineapple a year from approximately 13,000 hectares of cultivated area.


Govt mulls reusable plastic containers for apple marketing

Oct 28, 2013

Keen to reduce marketing costs and standardise packaging for apple, the government is considering introducing reusable plastic containers to replace the telescopic cartons currently in use.

According to official sources, an exercise has been started to identify the right type of plastic bins and a high-powered committee, which will have representatives of growers, arhtias (commission agents), ladanis (wholesalers) and other stakeholders, will be set up soon for the purpose. The committee will also go into the issue of designing standard cardboard cartons for which the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) has already engaged the Indian Institute of Packaging, Mumbai.

The cost of corrugated board cartons and separating trays is increasing every year and it is affecting the net returns.

Further, the growers were packing up to 37 kg to 30 kg fruit in the standards 20 kg carton, which often spoils the quality of fruit and makes standardisation of packaging a difficult proposition.

Worse, a large quantity of processable grade of fruit is also sent to market in 60 kg bags, which affects the market prices. Such low quality apple can be better marketed in returnable plastic bins like tomato and other vegetables, which are highly perishable.

The reusable plastic bins will hold about 18 kg of apple and they are collapsible and can be transported back from markets for reuse. Another advantage is that they can be stacked and are easier to handle. The only disadvantage is the initial high cost, but studies conducted in Europe have revealed that they are much more economical due to their long life cycle.

These days interlocking allows plastic bins to be stacked up to a height of more than 36 ft.

The initial high cost could be taken care by making the state-owned HPMC, which supplies corrugated cartons, the nodal agency for reusable plastic bins.

It can procure bins in bulk and rent these out to growers, who can return these after the harvesting season.

Bins used for transporting 10 trucks of apple could be brought back in a single truck load in the collapsed state for reuse.

Other advantages are they are much better from the sanitation point of view as plastic body has a smooth surface that do not harbour disease-carrying organisms and can be cleaned easily. Unlike corrugated cartons they are not affected by rain and they do absorb water or chemicals.

Source: The Tribune

With attractive prices, vanilla makes a comeback

Oct 24, 2013

With vanilla prices witnessing a nearly 300 per cent rise over the past nine months, farmers in Kerala and Karnataka have started cultivating the spice again.

Green beans now command anything between Rs 400  and Rs 600 a kg, depending on the quality, up from Rs 130-140 a year ago.

M C Saju, director, Vanilla India Producers Company (Vanilco), told Business Standard that a one-metre vine now costs Rs 20. It had no value at all a year ago. During 2000-2004, the golden period of cultivation, good quality vine had a price tag of Rs 100-150 a metre.

Cultivation was active Kerala and Karnataka during 1999-2005, when   prices skyrocketed in the global market. Then, green beans fetched up to Rs 1,200 a kg, largely because of a bad production season in Madagascar, the world’s largest producer. As production resumed in Madagascar, vanilla prices crashed to as low as Rs 50 a kg, following which farmers stopped cultivating the spice.

Now the prices are up again. Saju claimed Vanilco is getting offers of Rs 20,000 for a kg of vanilla extract, which had no takers even at Rs 5,000 last year. Vanilco has a stock of 400 kg of vanilla extract.


Tripura govt adopts methods to boost orange production

Oct 18, 2013

Concerned over the drastic fall of orange production in Jampui hills in North Tripura, the state government has adopted scientific methods for increasing the output of the fruit.

"It has been observed that productivity of orange plants has come down in Jampui hills and the areas under cultivation have also shrunk as fruit farmers have turned to other profit-making crops like coffee, beetle nuts and ginger," state Agriculture Minister Aghore Debbarma said.

In consultation with the experts from the National Research Centre for Citrus (NRCC), the state horticulture department has started distributing artificially grafted orange plants and fertilizers, besides extending facilities for irrigation.

The department has distributed 1.97 lakh saplings to farmers in the recent past, he said.

"Earlier, orange was produced in 12000 hectares of land, which now has come down to 492 hectares," he said.

However, orange cultivation has recently expanded in Ampi and Killa blocks of Gomati district and Sakhan hills of Dhalai district with the help of the ICAR.

Earlier, more than 60 tonnes of oranges were produced on 12000 hectares, officials said.


HC scraps 6% commission from Himachal Pradesh growers in Delhi

Oct 03, 2013

In a major relief to apple growers from Himachal Pradesh, the Delhi high court has rejected the notification issued by the Delhi government to charge 6% commission from them (growers) in Azadpur Mandi for selling their produce. For the last many years, commission charged in Delhi market had remained a major issue in the state. Now, the HC judgment has triggered a race for credit among political leaders. The state government had taken up the issue with Delhi government with regard to enforcement of bylaw- 49 (3) — that though the commission be charged at the existing rate of 6%, it be taken from buyers and not farmers or sellers.

After the Delhi high court judgment on Tuesday, while BJP leader and former horticulture minister Narender Bragta soon after claimed that his party was instrumental in taking up the issue whether it was in power or not. Not to be left behind, Congress on Wednesday gave the entire credit to chief minister Virbhadra Singh.

Bragta claimed that in 1998, when he was the horticulture minister, he had raised the issue with then Delhi chief minister Sahib Singh Verma-led government, after which charging of commission was stopped. Later, when the Congress government in Delhi reimposed the commission, the HP government had approached the court, he added.

Meanwhile, horticulture minister Vidya Stokes and chief parliamentary secretary Rohit Thakur claimed that the HC relief to farmers and horticulturists of the state was due to the efforts of Virbhadra Singh, who pursued the matter with the chief ministers of Delhi from time to time, regarding the brazen fleecing of the commission agents in Delhi.

They said the high court decision was a welcome step as the Congress government had relentlessly pursued the case through the Himachal Pradesh State Agriculture Marketing Board even during its last regime. The chief minister was well aware of the issue of illegal commission being charged by the agents at Azadpur market, they said. As huge quantities of apples and vegetables from the state are sold through the commission agents in Azadpur, one of the biggest wholesale markets in Asia, the marginal farmers suffer huge losses.

Stokes, too, is a prominent apple grower in Himachal Pradesh. Horticulture is a vital sector in the state's economy as it generates more than Rs 3,200 crore annual income. Apple constitutes about 93% of the state's total fruit produce. Besides apple, other fruits like pear, peach, cherry, apricot, kiwi, strawberry, olive, almond and plum are the major commercial crops of the state.

Source: The Times of India

Tanzania: Indian Firm to Support Dar's Fruit Exports

Oct 01, 2013

AN Indian firm--Rinac -is looking for a representative to help in the distribution and marketing of its cooling facilities, blast freezers, in the country.

"I have met with four firms and I am sure we'll strike a deal with one of them and open a representative office in Tanzania," the firm's Vice- President, Mr Soji Abraham said in Dar es Salaam over the weekend.

He said the blast freezers and cold rooms that add postharvest value on agricultural produce are essentially meant to help farmers to generate more money.

"Our costs (for the freezers) are reasonable," Mr Abraham told the 'Daily News' at the just ended India exhibitions at Mwalimu Nyerere grounds along Kilwa road, "I understand the country produces a lot of bananas but most of them are poorly preserved." The Rinac blast freezer that has capacity of freezing 500 kilogrmmes in four batches and a cold store of 10 metric tonnes costs 32,000 US dollars (over 50m/-).

Cold rooms are important assets in prolonging the shelflife of perishable products before reaching the export markets. It freezes at 45 centigrade, with stuffs stored at 25 centigrade up to two years, Mr Abraham said, noting that since fruits are frozen immediately after harvest before they ripe, farmers need ripening chambers that controls the sweetening process especially for bananas.

He said the construction of cold chain facilities does not take long since most are prefabricated and installed at the site. The biggest project takes up to two months to complete. Tanzania continues losing substantial amount of foreign currencies from exports of fruits and vegetables due to the lack of cold facilities to support the international trade.

According to the Association of Mango Growers (AMG ), about 600bn/- worth of fruits is each year lost to diseases and decay. The AMG attributes the losses to fruits post-harvest as producers are unaware of processing processes and preservation techniques.

There is huge export potential for fruits and vegetables in the Netherlands, Middle East, Australia and Philippines. Of an annual production of around 370,000 tones of mango, for example, only two per cent is currently reaching the export markets, with no available exports data for bananas.



Palani guava growers export to West Asian countries

Sep 12, 2013

Ayakudi, a small village near Dindigul and Palani in Tamil Nadu, is famous for its guavas.

Though the fruits are delicious and much sought after by the locals, they never fetched a good price for the growers.

For many years farmers used to sell the fruits in the local market and on the Dindugal-Palani highway for as little as Rs 8 to Rs.9 a kg.

Old story

“All the farmers in the region have been growing this fruit for years. Almost every farmer has two or three guava trees in his garden. But getting a good price always proved to be a challenge as the local traders decided on the price. But all this changed two years ago, when the growers were brought together to form a group called “Guava growers stakeholders for exploring export market,” says Dr. T.N. Balamohan, Special Officer, Tamil Nadu Women’s Horticulture and Research Institute, Navalur, Kuttapattu, Tiruchi.

The project spearheaded by the Tamil Nadu Agriculture University is funded under the National Agriculture Innovation Project scheme by ICAR, New Delhi.

“The scheme became operational from June 2009 to enhance guava productivity and quality through good agricultural practices (GAP). Importance on reducing post-harvest losses, enhancing the shelf life through scientific pre and post harvest management practices, strengthening of guava processing through entrepreneurship development, and facilitating growers to get a hold on the domestic and international market were all considered,” says Dr. Balamohan.


Accordingly 25 guava farmers were identified by the University and brought under the direct supervision of a team of specialists who constantly guided the growers on scientific cultivation practices through several training programmes and demonstrations, which included soil testing, drip irrigation technology, soil based micro and macro-nutrient application, integrated pest and disease management, introduction of biological pest management, and post harvest technologies.

The beneficiaries were selected after exhaustive field visits and personal interactions.

Accordingly farmers growing the crop in 2-4 acres, those with interest, and a pro active approach were selected.

They were also supplied with necessary inputs like fertilizers, cutters, nylon nets etc.

“By 2012 we started getting good feed back from them. The group in two years time followed the recommendations proposed by the specialists team and was able to harvest 15 tonnes of fruit from an hectare against nine tonnes in the past,” says Dr. Balamohan.

“But this was far from the goal we had set for ourselves. Unless market intelligence is exploited increasing production alone cannot solve problems for a farmer. Marketing linkage plays a vital role to realize a better income for whatever crop is grown,” he reasons.

Next step

As a next step, a meeting of farmers, traders, exporters, processors, retailers, bankers and graders was arranged. A private exporter volunteered to export the fruits to West Asian countries, but placed a condition that only the best ‘A’ grade fruits should be supplied.

Initially farmers became worried as to what they could do with the second grade fruits as it would find no takers.

The specialist team convinced them that local traders would buy it and also roped in a private trader at Coimbatore to take the consignments.

Once assured that a ready market existed, farmers happily agreed to supply the fruits.

Both TNAU scientists and officials from the exporting firm visited the beneficiaries several times to brief and educate them as to how to harvest and pack the ‘A’ grade fruits. That hard, back breaking work for the last two years has paid off.

Export details

Today 250 kg of guavas are being exported every alternate day to nearly 14 countries in the Gulf.

Farmers realise a premium of Rs.30 to 35 per kg against the Rs. 8 to 10 per kg in the past. Presently 560 acres in the region are under guava cultivation.

“The beneficiary farmers have invested their income in buying some more lands and cultivating the same guava crop in them. This is quite an encouraging trend in this belt because today we are flooded with a lot of enquiries from other growers to be also consider them under this project,” smiles Dr. Balamohan with a sense of pride.


Dr. Balamohan was recently conferred the Kadali Puraskar Award by the Government for a similar outstanding work on Banana growers, for consolidating them into a banana growers association.

To visit the place, interested readers can contact Dr.T.N. Balamohan, Special Officer & Co-PI NAIP (Mango and Guava) & e-course, Horticultural College &Research Institute for Women, Navalur Kuttapattu,, Tiruchi: 620 009, mobile: 9442076437.


Pear estate to boost fruit trade in Amritsar

Sep 10, 2013

Rising demand for pears, especially 'patthar nakh' (sand pear) grown in Amritsar, in different parts of the country has made the horticulture department think about establishing a pear estate in the district. The pear estate will offer a range of services including research and training for fruit growers.

Horticulture department officials said sand pear of Amritsar has great demand in West Bengal during Durga Puja festival as the devotees offer this fruit to goddess Durga. As the name suggests, 'patthar nakh' is hard unlike the 'baggugosha' (thumb pear) grown in Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Sand pear plants were brought to Amritsar by travellers from China who settled at Harsha Chinna village near Amritsar about 2,500 years ago. "Harvested in August, 'patthar nakh' is kept in cold stores before supplying to West Bengal during Durga Puja. We always have advance orders for other religious festivals and sacred days like Rozas, Chaath Puja and Vishwakarma Puja," said Inderjit Singh, a fruit grower.

Inderjit said devotees wrap the 'patthar nakh' in silver foils and offer it to goddess Durga and other deities. A 20kg box of sand pear of Amritsar is sold between Rs 800-1,200 during these festivals, which has encouraged the growers to opt for this fruit.

Amritsar deputy director (horticulture) Baz Singh told TOI that 'patthar nakh' is grown on 855 and 848 hectares area respectively in Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts, producing around 38,000 tonnes of fruit. "Almost the entire 'patthar nakh' is sold outside Punjab and majority of it is sent to West Bengal where it is in immense demand during Durga Puja. The fruit is full of juice and remains fresh for long. Despite being juicy and nutritious, the fruit has few takers in the local market," said Baz.

The deputy director said to establish the pear estate the department has started looking for fix to six acres of land where different species of pears would be grown. Separate buildings would be constructed for farm equipment used for cultivation of pear, laboratories, conference and meeting halls for farmers would be also be built in the estate. Baz said other varieties of pears grown in Amritsar and Tarn Taran include Punjab Nector and Punjab Beauty.

Source: timesofindia

Banana exports survive LoC trade: Turki

Jul 16, 2013

The LoC trade would have died down but for the export of banana from this side of Kashmir to Pakistan-administered-Kashmir, believe LoC traders.
The traders said they export around 800 trucks each carrying 9000 kilogram of fruit to Pakistan every month through LoC at Uri. They said that they have been witnessing increased demand for the banana fruit from Pakistan.
 “Among the permitted items, demand for the banana has remained always high from our counterparts,” said General Secretary Salamabad Chakotti Traders Union Hilal Ahmad Turki.
Terming banana as the most favorable item, Turki said that the fruit has been ‘surviving’ LoC trade.
 “The huge demand for banana from Pakistan-administered-Kashmir has been the hope for the survival of the LoC trade. The trade would have closed down,” he said.
 He said 800 trucks laden with banana are exported to the other part of Kashmir through Uri every month. Each truck is carrying 9000 Kg of banana.
Meanwhile, traders reiterated their demand for the banking, trader’s permit and communication facilities.
 “Traders do not even know who their counterparts are and with whom they are doing business. Traders must be provided with the trade permits as permissions to visit the other side. We can meet traders and discuss business with them,” traders demanded.
Traders also urged government to provide better road facilities and besides widening and macadamisation of the road from Sallambad to Kaman Post.
 “Government should also provide the banking and communication facilities to the traders at the both the trade centres,” Turki said.
He said that ISD facilities should be provided to the traders for the smooth conduct of the trade.
Traders also urged government to hold monthly trade fairs and exhibitions at cross-LoC trade centres for the promotion of the LoC trade.
Tuirki said that Cross Loc Trade has potential to provide employment to nearly 5 lakh jobless youth of the state in case government provides all requisite facilities to the traders.
 “It could also be a biggest CBM’s between India and Pakistan,” he said.
Traders also said that facilities for packing and processing units should be also established for the traders.


Fruit diplomacy to get a push

Jul 12, 2013

Besides visas, intellectual property rights and bilateral , commerce and industry minister is going to push for fruit diplomacy of sorts during his meeting with US trade secretary Michael Froman.

He will push for greater market access for fruit such as mangoes, pomegranate, litchi and grapes during the series of meetings finance minister and he will have with top US officials. Both are currently in Washington.

Market access for Indian agricultural produce has been a major point of contention in bilateral relations. While has brought down tariffs on agricultural products of interest to the US, the US has not reciprocated, officials told Business Standard.

In the budget of 2011-2012 the government had reduced basic customs duty on raw pistachio and bamboo on the US’ request for more market access for these products. Sharma has decided to now take on the US for greater and easier entry of India agricultural goods in American markets, since they’ree subjected the most to various forms of inspection by US government agencies.

In April 2007, the US had given a green signal to import mangoes from India after treating it with radiation, which has turned out to be a costly affair for the exporters. When the matter was discussed with US authorities, they suggested the mangoes be irradiated by local inspection officers hired by the US embassy here. Such a step was expected to reduce the cost of the programme by $20,000-25,000 on each season. The government here had recommended giving the task to our National Plant Protection Organization. Nothing has progressed on the matter.

The US recently approved the import of pomegranates from India after irradiation to be done within India. But export is yet to happen. Export of grapes had been a demand pending since 2008 but the US authorities refuse to grant the necessary approval and continue to cite the presence of pesticide.

Sharma is to meet Walmart’s Scott Price, Senator Robert Menendez and Froman. On Friday, the two ministers will address the India-US CEOs Forum, where both will also meet US Secretary of Stade John Kerry and US commerce secretary Penny Pritzker, among others. The CEOs forum is expected to take up some issues related to taxation, investment, credit markets and infrastructure.

Movement of professionals
Pitching India as a long-term investment destination, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma on Thursday said the US should respect free movement of skilled professionals to enhance the strategic partnership between the two countries. The minister is accompanied by a delegation of the Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) chief executive offivers in his four-day visit to the US to woo foreign investors.


India, China bilateral visits like 'reaping fruits in autumn'

Jul 04, 2013

said Tuesday it looks forward to receiving Indian Prime Minister in later this year and that the visits, including of Li Keqiang to in May, were like "sowing the seed in spring and reaping the fruits in autumn".

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in a joint press interaction with Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in Brunei on the sidelines of the ARF meeting, said their talks were very cordial.

"We had a very cordial discussion like between good friends and brothers. If you take a look at how close the two of us are, you can see how close the relationship between our two countries is," Wang said.

"The most important thing that we agreed upon is to constantly push forward China-India relationship. Premier Li Kechiang just visited India, and we look forward to receiving Prime Minister Singh in China later this year. We believe that these two visits are like sowing the seed in spring and reaping the fruits in autumn, and this is our common goal which we believe serves the interests of both peoples."

Wang said both countries are natural strategic partners and should engage in all-round cooperation in a wide range of areas.

"We are two big countries and we have the important responsibility; we believe that we shoulder this common responsibility to regional and global peace and stability."

Khurshid said "both sides have reviewed the work that has to be done, that has already been done since Premier Li's visit. And amongst the various things that we are going to do is several consultations on the region in the areas that we are interested in."

Khurshid said Defence Minister A.K. Antony would be China in two days' time and "we will take our defence cooperation to a higher level. And most important of all for you, we are looking at ways and means of getting the Chinese media and Indian media together".

To a question if there had been any progress in the 16th Round of boundary talks between their special representatives, Yang said the talks were "very successful and good progress was made", which Khurshid reiterated.


Himachal to soon have another apple cold storage

Jul 02, 2013

, whose apple industry is worth over Rs.2,000 crore, will soon have another cold chain storage with grading and packing facility in the apple-growing areas of Shimla district, an official said here Saturday.

An apple packing grading house, having facility of controlled atmosphere stores, would be set up at Kharapathar. This would benefit the farmers, especially fruit growers of Jubbal and Kotkhai areas, a government spokesperson told IANS.

He said Horticulture Minister Vidya Stokes disclosed this at a meeting of the board of directors of Himachal Pradesh Horticultural Produce Marketing and Processing Corp (HPMC) here Friday.

She said the packing and grading house would be funded by the union commerce ministry.

Stokes said techno-economic feasibility reports have been prepared for setting up of 5,000 metric tonnes juice extraction units at Chopal, Rohru and Rampur in Shimla district, Patlikuhl and outer Siraj in Kullu district and Churah and Bharmour in Chamba district.

The reports would soon be sent to the union government for funding, she added.

In July 2012, a 35,000 apple-box-capacity storage facility, involving an outlay of Rs.503 lakh, was opened at Jarol Tikkar near Kotgarh in Shimla district.

Computerised grading and packing units with a capacity of four lakh boxes of 20 kg each were also set up there.

Horticulture department estimates say this year the state is heading for a bumper apple production after two consecutive years of less than normal yield.

A production of over 3.75 crore apple boxes of 20 kg each is expected, Gurdev Singh, director of horticulture, told IANS.

Himachal Pradesh's apple boom is credited to Satyanand (Samuel Evans Stokes Junior), an American missionary, first introduced high quality apples in the Kothgarh-Thanedar belt in upper Shimla in the early 1920s.

His daughter-in-law, Horticulture Minister Stokes, now manages most of the family's orchards.

Apple is the main fruit crop of the state and is grown in nine of its 12 districts. It accounts for about 40 percent of the total area under all fruit crop cultivation.

Besides apple, other fruits like pear, peach, cherry, apricot, kiwi, strawberry, olive, almond and plum are the major commercial crops of the state.


Himachal heading for a bumper apple harvest

Jun 13, 2013

There is good news for apple lovers this year. They can expect a good supply of the deep, crunchy crimson apples from Himachal Pradesh, the country’s largest apple basket.

The state horticulture department estimates say the state is heading for a bumper apple production — the mainstay of the state’s economy — after two consecutive years of less-than-normal yield.

“We are expecting a production of over 3.75 crore apple boxes (of 20 kg each) this season,” Gurdev Singh, director of horticulture, told IANS.

Last year, he said, over 20.4 million boxes were harvested — 20 percent less than state’s normal yield of 25 million boxes — while it was just 13.6 million crore boxes in 2011.

In both the years, the reduced output was owing to adverse weather — extended winter and the fury of hailstorms when the crop was maturing.

Horticulture experts said plentiful snow in last winter and the recent good spells of rain have sufficiently increased the moisture content in the soil, which has helped the plants obtain sufficient nutrients.

They say early varieties such as Red June, Summer Queen, and Tydeman’s Early Worcester, though inferior in quality, will start arriving in the markets by the end of July.

Superior grades like Royal Delicious, Red Chief, Super Chief, Oregon Spur and Scarlet Spur will start arriving by the middle of August, and their harvesting will continue till November.

“There was some damage to the crop in the recent hailstorms and significant premature fruit dropping too, but overall, the crop is healthy. At present, the fruit is in development stage,” Gopal Mehta, a prominent apple and cherry grower of Kotgarh in upper Shimla, said.

He said most of the fruit crops in the state — including cherries, pears, peaches, apricots, almonds, and plums — are heading for a bumper yield.

Upper Shimla areas, which account for 80 percent of the total apple production, have seen congenial weather, with plentiful snow during winter. Snow is considered white manure for apple orchards.

According to the meteorological office in Shimla, the entire apple belt has seen adequate rain even before the monsoon has set in. “We are expecting the monsoon to arrive a week in advance,” Manmohan Singh, director of the meteorological office here, said. The monsoon normally hits the state by June 27.

Himachal Pradesh’s apple industry, which is currently worth over Rs. 2,000 crore, is credited to Satyanand (Samuel Evans Stokes Junior), an American missionary, who first introduced high-quality apples in the Kothgarh-Thanedar belt in Shimla district in the early 1920s. His daughter-in-law, Vidya Stokes, now the state horticulture minister, manages most of the family’s orchards.

Source: The Hindu

Vegetables top the list in the organic food category in India

May 27, 2013

Data has revealed that vegetables top the category offering organic options in India. As awareness about organic food options grows in urban areas, it was found that vegetables at 68% lead the way with fruits following at 52%.

Organic pulses (51%), food grains (50%), milk (45%) and fruit juices (51%) are the most regularly purchased items by Indian consumers, said the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) recently.

Packaged food, tea and beverages are amongst the other products for which Indians prefer the organic option, adds a survey conducted by ASSOCHAM. Currently, most organic farmers in India are still in the transition phase and hence their costs are still high, according to ASSOCHAM. As these farmers continue with organic farming, the production costs are expected to reduce, making India as one of the most important producers of organic food, said a spokesperson.

The average weekly expenditure on organic food is estimated at 50% of the weekly food budget, points out the survey.

With all the bad publicity and alarm generated by poor diet, junk food and rising levels of obesity, the boom in the organic sector comes as a relief said most welcome relief for a food industry, adds DS Rawat of ASSOCHAM.

A majority who participated in the survey said that eating organic food was "healthier''. They also said they would eat more organic food if it was available at more convenient stores and even a bigger majority said if it was less expensive.

The government is also promoting production of organic crops, fruits and vegetables etc. through various schemes like the National Horticulture Mission (NHM), Horticulture Mission for North East and Himalayan States (HMNEH), Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY), National Project on Management of Soil Health and Fertility (NPMSHF), National Project on Organic Farming (NPOF), Network Project on Organic Farming under Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) and various schemes of Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

Source: timesofindia

JK ideal for food, fruit processing industry

Apr 23, 2013

Minister of state for Industries & Commerce, Sajjad Ahmad Kichloo today underlined the significance of food processing industry in the state, stating that the sector has the potential to become beacon of industrial development in J&K.
 The Minister said this while inaugurating a seminar on “National Mission on Food Processing and Capacity Building”. More than 100 entrepreneurs participated in the seminar here today. The programme organized by SIDCO in association with National Skills Foundation of India was aimed to make entrepreneurs aware about National Mission on Food Processing and to train and sensitize them on vital issues related to food processing.
 Commissioner/Secretary, Industries & Commerce, Shant Manu, Director, Union Ministry of Agriculture, Ravi Kumar, CEO of National Skill Development Foundation, Satyendra Arya, Director Industries & Commerce, Jammu, Gulzar Qureshi, MD SIDCO, Muhammad Muazzam and MDs of J&K Cements, SICOP, JKI, EDI & KVIB were present on the occasion.
 Addressing the gathering, the Minister emphasized the need to provide fillip to the food processing sector by making certain technical interventions to boost the industry, an official statement said.  “The topography of the state is conducive to support food processing industry provided we make a few effective technical interventions. Capacity building and use of modern technology can go a long way in the growth of food sector in the State,” he added. The Minister also said the sector offered huge potential in terms of employment generation. “The Food Processing Sector contributes 7 per cent to the country’s GDP and provides employment to about 13 million people directly,” he said, asking the youth to lap up the opportunities in this growing sector. Referring to the strong advantages the State has in terms of climate and soil, the Minister urged the prospective entrepreneurs to focus attention on fruit processing sector.
 “J&K is the highest temperate fruit producing state in the country. After tourism, the fruit industry is the most important industry in the State. So we have no dearth of quality raw material available with us,” he said, adding the diverse agro-climatic conditions facilitated growth of different kinds of fruits and vegetables.
 Calling upon the participants to make use of the training to be imparted by experts in food processing during various Technical Sessions, the Minister said under National Mission on Food Processing, funding and loans to set up new food processing units and modernization of existing units will be provided.
 Earlier, in his address, Shant Manu, gave detailed description of the package of incentives being offered to the entrepreneurs in the State.
 He informed the Minister about the collaboration of the State Industries Department with National Skill Foundation of India and various other Central Government agencies to increase the capacity of the entrepreneurs.

Source: Greater Kashmir

Indian mango trade bears rich fruit

Apr 15, 2013

On a farm nestled between mountains in a peaceful area of India's Raigad district, hundreds of trees are laden with luscious mangoes.

Workers scan the trees for fruits that are ripe for picking and delicately pluck them, then carefully place them in the shade out of the glare of the strong afternoon sun.

The Alphonso mango season is in full swing.

The UAE has a huge appetite for the Alphonso and is India's biggest importer and re-exporter of mangoes in terms of value. The Emirates imported 22 million kilograms of the fruit in the financial year between 2011 and last year, generating more than 1 billion rupees (Dh67.3 million), according to figures from the Indian Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority.

Known as "the king of fruits", the pricey Alphonso mango has a rich aroma, sweet taste, melt-in-mouth texture and a golden colour once fully ripened. The prized fruit can sell for more than three times the price of other varieties of mango, of which there are more than 1,000 in India.

"The taste is not only sweet - it's different," says Sandesh Maruti Patil, the owner and manager of the Bhaktij mango farm in Raigad. "It's a status thing. When someone eats the first Alphonso of the season, they tell people."

Mr Patil gave up a career in homeopathic medicine for the more lucrative mango industry. His farm, which has about 1,000 trees, can produce up to 14,000 mangoes a day. He supplies exporters and local buyers and most of the mangoes on his farm are ultimately destined for the UAE and the wider Arabian Gulf region.

India is the world's biggest grower of mangoes, with a 40 per cent share of total world production data from the UN Food and Agriculture Orgnanization. It produces more than three times the amount of mangoes than the next-largest market, which is China. Total exports of mangoes from India reached 59,000 tonnes in the financial year of 2011, valued at 1.63bn rupees.

India even used mangoes as a bargaining chip in 2007 in a trade deal with the United States to pave the way for the sale of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in India. In 2007, India eased emission guidelines for imported motorbikes to allow Harley-Davidson to enter the Indian market.

This was a trade deal in exchange for mango exports to the US. The US had banned mango exports from India for years before this because of concerns over the levels of pesticides used.

Prices of the fruit swing dramatically depending on supply and demand during the Alphonso harvesting season, which typically runs from mid-March to May.

On Mr Patil's farm, the mangoes are currently selling for about 500 rupees per two dozen. That compares with about 1,400 rupees last year.

"Last year the rates were very high," says Mr Patil.

"This year from mid-March the rates have gone down."

He says this is because of an increase in the supply of mangoes that have been produced in recent weeks compared with the same time last year. But he adds that over the entire season, he expects mango production to reach similar levels to last year, predicting that mango supply will slow next month compared with last year.

"The last three years have not been good for mangoes," says Mr Patil. "Because of the climatic changes we're getting a long winter season."

Fahad Exports is based in the APMC fruit market, in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, where many of the mangoes from the farms in Raigad and other areas including Ratnagiri are sent.

Shuja Merajuddin, who runs Fahad Exports, says he sends most of his mangoes to Dubai. Rising costs are eating into exporters' profits this year, he adds.

"Demand is the same from Dubai this year but the sale price is less," he says. "At the same time, our costs have increased. The packing costs are more, freight rates are higher, port fees have risen and cooling storage costs have increased because of higher electricity prices."

He estimates his costs have risen by more than 30 per cent over the past year, while prices have declined by more than 20 per cent.

"Prices have come down because of demand and supply," he says. "The markets are tight."

Competition has increased from Pakistan, which is sending cheaper varieties of mangoes to the UAE, he adds.

Asad Qureshi, the manager of Vimo Foods, is also based in the Vashi market. He complains that because demand for Alphonso mangoes from the UAE is so strong, the industry has attracted some unscrupulous exporters.

"They don't give us the money on time, or they cut the payment or they say the goods are rotten," Mr Quereshi says. "This year they're not giving a good rate. We're finding it difficult. We're now looking for European countries. There's a lot of demand from the United Kingdom."

Alphonso prices have also slumped in markets in Mumbai.

"There's too much supply for the local market," says Mohammed Mosin, who is a wholesale buyer of mangoes in Mumbai. "The prices are low compared to last year."

There is a huge premium for the first Alphonso batches of the season, which has led farmers to put great efforts into developing methods to coax their trees into ever-earlier harvests.

Mr Patil cuts his trees' trunks to divert the flow of sucrose and induce early flowering.

His farm was able to harvest mangoes at the end of January this year and managed to command rates at that time of 2,514 rupees per two dozen mangoes. Prices have declined as the season takes off and the fruit becomes more readily available.

Some argue that Alphonso mangoes need to be better marketed and properly branded to boost exports.

Farmers in four of the main Alphonso-producing districts - Ratnagiri, Raigad, Thane, and Sindhudurg - are currently trying to secure a patent for their fruit.

Alphonsos are also being exported from Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, which some farmers argue are not of the same quality, because of the soil and atmospheric conditions.

"Mango growers of four districts have filed a patent," says Mr Patil. "If we get the patent, of course we will advertise everywhere that the people should buy mangoes from these four districts."




South Gujarat farmers find pomegranates juicer

Apr 09, 2013

Move over ValsadiHafoos and chikoos of south Gujarat. Farmers in the region are ready to add something more juicer to your fruit basket!.

Large number of farmers in districts of south Gujarat are switching over from their regular cash crops to grow pomegranates, which not only has a huge export market but also yielding more profit.

Satish Patel (39), a farmer of Itakala village of Valiya taluka of Bharuch district, used to grow papaya on his 40-acre farm. At times, he cultivated cotton or tuver (pigeon peas) but the returns were not good.

"In started pomegranate farming in February last year and reaping a rich harvest of Rs 2.5 lakh per acre," Patel said.

My farm is new and before taking the first fruit we need to be careful as branches and stem needs to be strengthened sufficiently to bear the weight of the fruit. So the first fruit will be after 1.5 years, but after that every year we can take good crops," Patel added.

According to sources in horticulture department, more than 500 farmers spread across 300 hecatres from Vagra, Rajpipla, Jaghadia talukas of Bharuch and Narmada district, Mandvi and Mangrol in Surat district and Utchal and Nizar of Tapi are switching over to this fruit. These areas are relatively arid and conducive for pomegranate cultivation.

"With an investment of Rs 70,000 per acre, farmers get a yield of at least Rs 2.5 lakh," assistant director, horticulture, in charge of Bharuch and Surat, Dinesh Pataliya said.

Locally called Dadam, the fruit, also has great medicinal value making it lucrative for export.

"Large number of pomegranate farmers especially from Maharastra export their product to European countries during October to February," said Pataliya adding, "Unlike mango, it needs dry cool climate without much rains and some of our talukas of South Gujarat provide the best weather for the fruit to grow."

Pratap Pednekar, who owns a 100-acre farm in Nagar district of Maharashtra said, "We have asked the farmers of south Gujarat to change the variety as the one that we grow has a maturity period of 6 to 6.5 months after flowering. We have recommended another variety that has short maturity period of three-four months after flowering so it doesn't cause loss even if it rains."

India exports nearly 7,000 to 10,000 tonnes of pomegranate, 30 per cent of which goes to Europe and remaining to Middle East countries.

Source: timesofindia

Jackfruit gaining popularity as vegetable in North

Apr 08, 2013

Jackfruit is gaining acceptance as a vegetable, especially as a substitute for meat in dishes, according to an expert.

Shree Padre, who has been working on creating awareness about jackfruit cultivation for the past several years, told Business Line that jackfruit is basically used either as a fruit or as a vegetable. It is also a main ingredient in the preparation of many value-added products.

Raw jackfruit, as a vegetable, is gaining popularity in northern India, and a majority of them are being used as a substitute for meat in the preparation of various dishes.

Nearly 40 hotels in Nagpur region are using jackfruit as a substitute for meat in their cuisines. This is a development over the past five years, he said.

Stating that jackfruit satisfies many parameters of meat in the preparation of various food items, he said a majority of the around 50,000 tonnes of jackfruit sent from the south to north go to the kitchen table.

Padre was part of a team to the Vidharba region to study the potential of jackfruit there.

On the jackfruit crop potential in Vidharba region, he said the cultivation is not that big.

Because of the awareness about this crop in the past five years, a minuscule component is coming to the market.

Padre said that raw jackfruit as a substitute for meat has not gained prominence in southern India. With proper extension activities, raw jackfruit can be introduced in south Indian hotels as a substitute for meat, he said.

Source: Business Line

State mulls integrated scheme to support orange growers

Aug 31, 2012

Under pressure from orange growers associations in Vidarbha, state government finally seems to be making efforts to support them. It is formulating an end to end development policy which would provide support right from procuring disease-free planting material to selling of the fruit in market including subsidy on transportation.

Although there are no official assurances, some recent meetings of these associations with the agriculture and horticulture departments provide indications of the measure. One such meeting took place on Wednesday at National Research Centre for Citrus (NRCC). Farmer associations like Maharashtra State Orange Growers Association (MOGA), Maha Orange and Nagpur Orange Producers Association (NOPA) discussed issues with Maharashtra horticulture director D G Bakwad.

Managing director of MOGA Ramesh Jichkar told TOI that Bakwad had agreed to conduct a study on the lines of Pujab's 'Orange Estate', a central government funded scheme that provided support to farmers at every stage. Bakwad has asked the agriculture department to prepare a proposal on Punjab model within a month so it could further taken up with the department of horticulture and state government.

There was also an earlier interaction of these NGOs with the horticulture minister Vijay Kumar Gavit on August 1. "A team of progressive farmers, agriculture officials and NRCC scientists would tour Punjab to study the model. Our proposal would concentrate on regional requirements," said J C Bhutada, joint director of agriculture (JDA), Nagpur division.

Wardha district superintending agriculture officer Bhausaheb Bharade, who would prepare the proposal, said since the Punjab scheme was for Kinoo orange, Vidarbha scheme would be different. It would still include training, processing and certain crop and region specific issues. Jichkar felt that unless the Vidarbha NGOs and progressive farmers together made a strong front and took up the cause of the growers, the state government on its own was never going to move. Hence, the NGOs have been pursuing the issue for last two years with vigour.

The NOPA secretary Manoj Jawanjal stated that the state was continuing with decades old packages despite doubling of input in cultivation. The government gives Rs30,000 per hectare for rejuvenation of orange, a technology intervention scheme for reviving dying orchards and Rs11,300 per hectare for phytophthora management since 2001. "Government gives 50% subsidy on this amount. But the costs of management of both these have doubled and hence we are demanding revision of amount to Rs70,000 and phytophora to Rs50,000," he said.

Sunil Shinde, former Katol MLA and a progressive farmer, is demanding a revision of insurance package and redefining of triggering factors besides revival of the closed orange processing units. Former state agriculture minister Harshwardhan Deshmukh and now the chairman of MOPA, MOPA president Shridhar Thakre, NRCC director V J Shivankar, Amravati Division JDA Ashok Kanagle and all the district agriculture officers were among those present at the meeting.

Source: timesofindia

India: NEC sets up strawberry project in Pune

Aug 31, 2012

NEC Corp has announced plans to set up an organic strawberry cultivation project in Pune, India. The idea, it says, is to create jobs in the area and to spread the NEC brand.

NEC is working in cooperation with GRA, a non profit organisation that has been growing strawberries in Miyagi prefecture in Japan. The non profit has been growing its fruit on land damaged by the tsunami last year.

The Indian project will commence in September. The company will construct 100 M2 greenhouses in two villages. The cultivation will begin next year, with importer seedlings from Japan.

NEC is hoping to sell the fruit to supermarkets and restaurants, at high quality prices. NEC expects annual sales of more than 2 million yen ($25,000) for each association.

The money generated by the project is intended to introduce NEC products to the villages, such as power systems, run with solar power as well as education and medical care that utilises the latest information technology.

"We hope we will spread the NEC brand from the grass-roots level to become successful in this huge market," said Masahiko Murakami, chief of the NEC social contributions office.


‘Help all banana farmers get coverage under insurance scheme’

Aug 29, 2012

Several progressive farmers, speaking at the 19 Foundation Day of the National Research Centre for Banana (NRCB) here on Monday, pointed out to the impediments afflicting the banana sector and demanded remedial measures including coverage under the National Agriculture Insurance Scheme (NAIS).

G.Ajeethan, general secretary, Tamil Nadu Banana Growers’ Federation, said though Tiruchi is a notified area under the NAIS for banana, compensation has not been paid to farmers when they suffered huge losses due to natural calamity. The cooperative banks did not come to their rescue even after collecting insurance premium before disbursing loans, he said. He urged the Horticulture Department to help all banana farmers to get coverage under NAIS.

He pleaded that the “gap between research and farmers should be reduced.” He also urged the NRCB to come out with disease-free and high-yielding varieties suitable for specific locations. He pointed out that varieties raised in the Cauvery flowing regions may not be suitable for other places. He sought a “seed replacement programme” that would help farmers get high-yielding and disease-free seedling. Even if five per cent of the seedlings were to be replaced annually, the banana sector would get a massive impetus, he added.

Lamenting that a number of diseases affecting banana are “river-borne,” he appealed to the institutions like the NRCB to suggest “field-level sanitation”.

Mahadhanapuram V.Rajaram, working president of the Cauvery Delta Farmers’ Welfare Association, underlined the need for focused research on “what grows well naturally in each location.” Pointing out that ‘poovan’ variety raised in some parts of the district can withstand adversities – be it too much water or drought – he pleaded that NRCB should try to popularise the variety. He also cited the rapid strides made by Sri Lanka in adding value to various banana products and said that banana leaf is converted into a “packaging material” with an excellent market potential.

A.T.P.Karuppiah from Theni, who has been awarded “Siranda Vazhai Thozhil Munaivor Virudu,” explained the immense benefits accruing to farmers thanks to technology. He pointed out that the banana growers who were earning just Rs.50,000 per acre in Theni region in 2004 were now able to earn a net profit of even as much as Rs.1lakh to Rs.2lakh per acre using various technologies including drip irrigation. Similarly, the ripening chamber method that he pioneered had now influenced a lot of entrepreneurs and now there are eight such chambers in Theni region alone.

Though India contributes to almost 25 per cent of the global banana production, our export is not much, he lamented. It is because our bananas are yet to reach the air-conditioned chambers, he added. Puliyur Nagarajan, vice president of the Tamil Nadu Bharat Krisak Samaj, pointed out that husk has such huge potash content that it could be used in banana fields to get higher yield.


High-density planting increases banana yield and brings hope

Aug 23, 2012

Compared to several western countries, India though endowed with a lot of natural resources, lags behind in agricultural production.

“The main reason for this is that developed technologies are not percolating to the farmers.

“They remain mere project theses on paper. The main reason for Israel doing so well in agriculture is that almost 90 per cent of their technologies are field-oriented and aimed at helping farmers earn more,” says Dr. Prabhukumar, Zonal Project Director, ICAR, New Delhi.

Able to deliver

“We can claim to be farmer oriented only if we are able to transform the developments in labs to the open fields. Our recent research on high density banana planting on the farmers’ fields in Pathanamthitta district of Kerala proves that farmers readily accept new techniques if they are genuinely going to help them get a better yield and income,” he says.

Today apart from rubber, banana is the most popular crop grown by farmers in the region. According to latest statistics available, the crop is grown in an area of 4,642 hectares.

The steady demand for banana due to its varied uses and wide adaptability to different farming situations makes it the small farmer’s favourite crop. The dwindling farm holdings also make this a practical alternative to other crops.

Among several varieties, the Nendran variety occupies the first choice among Keralites as the fruit is in good demand in the State.

Compared to varieties as Grand Nain (golden yellow coloured) that can produce bunches weighing more than 45 kg, Nendran variety produces bunches with an average weight of 7-10 kg only, pushing down productivity and profits.

Since more than 70 per cent of banana cultivation is done on leased lands by resource-poor farmers, obtaining maximum income from a unit area under cultivation assumes utmost importance.

Different technologies

Several research institutes developed different technologies for pushing up productivity. High density planting developed by Kerala Agricultural University helps the farmer to earn better.

In 2007, the Christian agency for rural development, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Pathanamthitta district, Kerala offered this trump card to farmers.

By organizing farmer participatory research trials, demonstrations, seminars, training, and field visits in the subsequent years, the

institute effectively perfected the technology for easy adoption by the farmers.

According to Mr. Rajan Nair Vavolil, Naranganam, the technology helped him obtain a yield of more than 27t/ha while his fellow farmers got only 8tonnes per heactre.

“From the small demonstration plots of 0.25 ha in 2007, the technology has spread rapidly and in 2012 occupies more than 150 hectares under cultivation involving more than 1,500 farmers in the Pathanamthitta district alone.

“By planting Nendran at a recommended spacing about 2,500 Nendran suckers can be planted in one hectare of land,” says Rincy K Abraham, Horticulturist working at the institute.

In high density planting, banana rows are made at a distance of 3mts and pits of 50 cm x 50cm x50cm size are taken at a spacing of 2mts in each row.

Increased suckers

Then banana plants are planted in each pit at a spacing of 30-45 cm, perpendicular to the direction of rows. The modified plant spacing reduces pit numbers to 1,666 hectares but increases the total number of plants planted to 3,332 in a hectare of land.

Mr. Mohanan Pillai Varikolil, an award-winning farmer says, “double planting helps the plants to utilize water and fertilizer more efficiently through increased root density. It also helps the plants resist winds more effectively and cost for staking was considerably reduced.”

He was able to avoid stakes by tying two plants together or by using only one stake for both the plants.

Uniform growth

Uniformly growing tissue cultured Nendran plants are the best planting material for doing high-density banana cultivation.

“However, sucker plantations can also be raised successfully if due care is given to planting equal weighing suckers in the same pits.

“Planting banana suckers of different sizes in the same pits lead to uneven growth and reduction in yield,” says Rincy.


Deficient monsoon sweetens apple further

Aug 14, 2012

Apple is one of the agricultural produce that has gained sharply in the last few weeks. From around Rs 3,000 during mid-July, the fruit was quoted at Rs 4,800 on Monday at Kullu in Himachal Pradesh. In retail outlets in the South, apple costs between Rs 120 a kg (for Chinese) to Rs 180 (for US, Australian).

The surprising aspect of the rise in price is that it has been gaining despite higher arrivals. So far, some 166 tonnes have arrived at Kullu APMC against 78 tonnes during the same period a year ago.

According to reports, though apple production in Himachal Pradesh has been affected by frost and hail storm. Last week’s rain has also affected the crop to some extent. However, production could be a little higher than last year in Himachal Pradesh that accounts for 30 per cent of the total production in the country. The crop has also been affected in Kashmir.

The apple season begins in August and gets over by November.

The main reason for apple to rise is deficient monsoon in the main growing States of Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

Apple prices are likely to rule firm this season and could gain further with a slew of festivals coming up.


UAS initiative to help pomegranate growers fight bacterial blight

Aug 03, 2012

Farm scientists in the University of Agricultural Sciences in Dharwad have come up with new strategies to help pomegranate farmers in the region overcome certain problems, including bacterial blight, a major disease that destroys their crop.

According to renowned plant pathologist I V Benagi, diseases like bacterial blight, wilt complex, fruit rot (anthracnose), leaf and fruit spots and Insect pests like pomegranate butterfly, stem borer, shot hole borer, leaf eating caterpillar, mealy bugs,thrips, aphid, mites, white fly, fruit sucking moths, nematodes and disorders like fruit cracking sun scald and internal breakdown of arils were haunting the pmogranate farmers. A team of scientists in UAS headed by professor Benagi has come out with a series of remedial measures for each of the problem.

Farm scientists V B Nargund, R A Balikai and M R Ravikumar along with Benagi have visited all the places where pomegranate is cultivated in India and Spain and studied the problems.

Karnataka government has provided Rs 1 crore to the department of plant pathology in UAS (Dharwad) to conduct research on Bacterial blight, thanks to the then chief minister B S Yeddyurappa.

The scientists have published booklets in Kannada and English and distributed them to the farmers. The booklet explains the symptoms of each disease and suggests remedial measure. The scientists have also prepared a CD that explains to the farmers the actual process of implementing the remedial measure. "We are responding to the telephone calls from farmers from different places and addressing their problems"Benagi said.

Benagi told The Times of India that bacterial blight of pomegranate affects leaves, twigs, and fruits. Infected fruit and twigs are potential sources of primary inoculums. The secondary spread of bacterium is mainly through rain and spray splashes, irrigation water, pruning tools, humans, and insect vectors. Entry is through wounds and natural openings. The first water-soaked lesions develop within 2-3 days and appear as dark red spots. Disease build up is rapid from July to September. Severity increases during June and July and reaches a maximum in September and October and then declines.

Bacterial cells are capable of surviving in soil for 120 days and also survive in fallen leaves during the off-season. High temperatures and low humidity or both favour disease development. Optimal temperature for growth of bacterium is 30°C; thermal death point is about 52°C.

India is the largest producer of pomegranate next only to Iran. During 2007-2008 pomegranate had covered an area of 122,000 hectares with a production of 858,000 tonnes and the productivity was 7 tonnes per hectare. The area under the crop had increased in Karnataka and Maharastra at a rapid pace during the past few years.

In Karnataka pomegranate is a major crop in Chitradurga, Hosadurga, Bagalkot, Koppal, Bellary and Raichur which are in tropical region. But the area under cultivation had come down drastically following loss of crop due to diseases. The fruit is fetching much foreign exchange for the country as sizeable quantity of fruits is being exported from these states. India exported 35.2 thousand tonnes of fruits valued at Rs 911 million. Till recently there were no serious constraints in its production but the problems of wilt and bacterial blight have caused its area to dwindle suddenly.

Scientist V B Nargund explained that pomegranate aril juice provides 16 per cent of an adult's daily vitamin C requirement per 100 ml serving and is a good source of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), potassium and antioxidant polyphenols. He said in preliminary laboratory research and human pilot studies juice of the pomegranate was effective in reducing heart disease risk factors. He informed that pomegranate seed oil, containing polyphenols which inhibit estrogen synthesis was effective against proliferation of breast cancer cells.

Source: timesofindia

CII farm panel looks to go ‘bananas’ to build brand

Jul 31, 2012

The Confederation of Indian Industry has proposed to make a brand out of the bananas grown in Tamil Nadu along the lines of Florida oranges and California apples.

Seeking the State Government support for this initiative, the apex industry body has suggested ways and means to educate all stakeholders in the supply chain, from the farm gate to the retail end on technologies available for proper post-harvest management.

Mr B. Thiagarajan, CII Co-Chairman of Agriculture and Food Processing Sub-Committee, said that the State produces different types of bananas, which collectively account for 25 per cent of the country’s total banana production.

By formally educating farmers and other stakeholders, the State can promote these bananas in the domestic as well as overseas markets in a big way.

There is a huge amount of wastage in the farm sector in India, which according to him is to the tune of Rs 80,000 crore a year and the body suggests creating a model banana cold chain in the State.

Mr Thiagarajan said that as of now, not even a small percentage was sent to other States, “leave alone exporting them”. They are either consumed or wasted in the State itself.

By adopting a suitable technology the State can save up to Rs 6,000 crore annually by setting up cold chains.

It also proposes to hold a banana festival in Chennai in December this year, in association with the State Government, farmers, traders, equipment manufacturers and investors.


Himachal apples start reaching market

Jul 18, 2012

Here’s good news for lovers of Himachal apples. The early varieties of the fruit have started reaching the markets of the State capital after the harvesting season of the fruit began after a delay of a fortnight.

With around 1,500 to 2,000 Himachal apple crates reaching the Dhalli wholesale market of Shimla each day from low lying areas of apple belt of the State, growers are expecting good prices.

Early varieties of apple like Summer Queen, Red June and Tydeman’s Early Worcester which normally helps in pollination of delicious varieties of apple, have reached the market.

The delicious varieties like, Super Chief, Scarlet Spur, Oregon Spur of Apple have also started reaching the market since past two days and is fetching good amount to growers. A 25 kg spur varieties apple box is fetching upto `3,000 to the growers and is considered handsome amount.

The Super Chief variety apples are also fetching around `2,000 to `2,800 per 25 kg box. “Yes, with the start of harvest season Apple growers are getting handsome amount and hopefully with higher quality varieties of fruits to come, the growers will have a good time,” said Gian Singh Chandel chairman of Apple Market Committee at Dhalli.

Rohit Ranta an apple grower at Kotgarh area of Apple belt said that the high quality Royal Delicious varieties of the fruit is also likely to fetch good rates, if spur varieties are fetching around `3,000 per 25 kg box.

He added that rates are around 20 to 25 per cent higher this season and by next fortnight, Royal Delicious varieties of Apple are likely to reach the markets. Moreover the earlier varieties like Tydeman, Red June, Summer Queen are also fetching from `800 to `1,200 per 25 kg box depending on quality and size of apples.

State Horticulture director Gurdev Singh said that the harvesting season of apples had just begun in some lower pockets of Shimla, Kullu and Mandi districts and fruits have started reaching markets.

“As a departmental estimate this year, the Apple crop is far better that the last year’s production of 2,75,000 tonnes and we estimate roughly to be at around five lakh tonne,” said Singh.

State has an apple market of around `2,000 crore and last year the production was hampered due to poor weather conditions. In 2010, there was record production of around 4.5 crore boxes of apple.


Early varieties of Himachal apple fetch high prices

Jul 17, 2012

The apple season in Himachal Pradesh, considered the country’s apple bowl, has opened with the fruit fetching handsome prices, bringing smiles on the faces of growers.

Trade representatives said that the high prices at the onset of season indicated a rewarding apple business ahead.

“After a delay of 10-15 days, apple harvesting has finally begun. The fruit has started reaching the markets and is fetching good prices,” said Gian Singh Chandel, chairman of Dhalli Apple Market Committee near here.

“This year, prices are almost 25 percent higher than last year at this point of time,” he added.

Chandel said early varieties such as Red June, Summer Queen and Tydeman’s Early Worcester, though inferior in quality, had reached markets in Chandigarh, Punjab, Haryana and Delhi.

“A 20 kg box of Tydeman’s Early Worcester is being sold for up to Rs.1,100 in Dhalli and this is a good wholesale price,” he said.

Traders said that on an average, 1,500 to 2,000 crates of apples were reaching Dhalli every day.

Other early varieties such as Red June and Summer Queen are selling berween Rs.600 and Rs.700 and Rs.300 and Rs.450 per box, they say.

The same apples are selling for Rs.80-100 per kg in the retail markets of Chandigarh and Delhi.

Horticulture Department Director Gurdev Singh said the harvesting of apples had just begun in some pockets of Shimla, Kullu and Mandi districts.

“This year, the crop is far better that the last year’s production of 275,000 tonnes. It is too early to comment on the total yield, but it’s certain that it would be normal (around 500,000 tonnes),” he said.

Ramesh Chauhan, a farmer from Kotkhai in upper Shimla, said harvesting had begun in some pockets but it would take time for the superior varieties to attain optimum size and colour.

“The best one (Royal Delicious) from the Kothgarh-Thanedar apple belt will start arriving by the middle of August,” he said.

Horticulture experts said the shelf life of early varieties of apple was lower compared to the superior ones.

The early varieties require 95 to 120 days to mature after the crop fully blooms, whereas the normal ones take 135 to 180 days.

Himachal Pradesh’s economy is dependent on horticulture, apart from hydroelectric power and tourism, with its apple industry worth about Rs.2,000 crore.

Last year, the overall apple production was just 30 percent of the bumper production of 4.46 crore boxes in 2010.

Output had fallen due to adverse weather – an extended winter and a spell of hailstorms just when the crop was maturing.

The Horticulture Department estimates that the state’s apple production this season will be around 2.5 crore boxes.

According to the 2011-12 Economic Survey, the area under apple cultivation has increased from 400 hectares in 1950-51 to 101,485 hectares in 2010-11.


Banana genome sequence will aid crop improvement

Jul 12, 2012

Scientists have sequenced the complete genome of the banana, an important crop in developing countries that provides a fruit widely enjoyed the world over and is a staple food in some of the poorest parts of the globe.

The draft sequence provided “a crucial stepping-stone for genetic improvement of banana,” observed Angélique D’Hont, a French agricultural research scientist, and colleagues from a number of other countries in a paper that is being published this week in the scientific journal Nature.

The sequence represented, they said, “a major advance in the quest to unravel the complex genetics of this vital crop, whose breeding is particularly challenging.”

Pests and diseases were an “imminent danger” for global banana production. Having access to the entire gene repertoire of the plant held the key to identifying those responsible for disease resistance as well as ones for other important traits such as fruit quality, they added.

The completion of the genome sequence was important for India, the world's largest producer of bananas, according to P. Padmesh of the Jawaharlal Nehru Tropical Botanic Garden and Research Institute near Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala. However, most of the country's production was consumed locally and exports amounted to only 0.5 per cent of the world trade in the fruit.

The potential for export was huge if India could increase its productivity both in terms of quantity and quality, he told The Hindu in an email. As most of the present day cultivated varieties were susceptible to fungal, bacterial and viral diseases, it was necessary to develop disease-resistant varieties.

The international team has sequenced the genome of DH-Pahang (Musa acuminata), a banana popular in south-east Asia and which is able to resist the devastating Panama disease fungus that has been spreading in Asia.

If the genes that provide such resistance could be characterised, they could be transferred to other cultivated varieties, noted Dr. Padmesh.

The genome that has been sequenced ran to 523 million ‘bases,’ the chemical units that make up DNA and encode the genetic information. Transposable elements — the ‘jumping genes’ that can relocate themselves to other places in the genome from time to time — accounted for almost half of those bases.

Bananas that are cultivated, unlike their wild relatives, are seedless and develop without going through a process of pollination, fertilisation and seed production. These domesticated forms are therefore propagated by using a part of the parent plant. As a result, the offspring are genetically similar to the parent. Such similarity can allow disease-causing organisms to rampage through a crop.

The transposable elements in the banana genome therefore provide a major natural source of genetic variation, noted Dr. Padmesh.


Betting big on bananas

Jul 09, 2012

It is the world’s favourite fruit and India is its largest producer, contributing to 23 per cent of the world production. It gives an instant and sustainable boost of energy and is a good source of potassium, fibre, carrying 110 calories each and approximately six vitamins and 11 minerals. After rooting for mango and coconut, the Orissa government now has big plans for bananas to supplement the income of its rural households. With an annual production of 4.88 lakh tonnes, Orissa is ranked at No 8 among all banana producing states. Though it has over 26,000 hectares of its area under banana cultivation, the productivity is quite low in Orissa, which now plans to raise the per-hectare harvest from the current 7-8 tonnes to the national average of 33 tonnes in the next decade. With this in mind, the state’s horticulture department is now planning to plant banana rhizomes over 1,500 hectares, up from 500 hectares last year. But it is not the local yellow-skinned varieties that the department is keen on. Rather, it is betting big on Grand Naine tissue culture bananas, which is now a rage in Maharashtra — the biggest producer of the fruit in India. Unlike the local varieties such as Champa, Patkapura and Batisa, the Grand Naine bananas are longer in shape and their skin remains green even after they ripen. “While local varieties take about a year to harvest after they are planted, the tissue culture bananas are ready for harvest at least a month before. With more than 90 per cent fruiting in these plants, the farmers have less risks to encounter,” says Horticulture Director Sanjiv Chadha. Banana is essentially a tropical plant requiring a warm and humid climate. It also requires a lot of irrigation soon after plantation and mostly in summers when temperatures touch 40 degrees Celsius or more in most parts of the state. Besides, banana being very sensitive to diseases such as Panama Wilt and Banana Bunchy Top, farmers have to be on their toes while planting banana rhizomes. “In the Grand Naine variety, the virus indexing have been done taking care of such diseases in the laboratory itself,” says Chadha. As marketing is the biggest problem for farmers, the department has now started a policy of complete buy-back arrangement, in which companies would buy all the ripe bananas from the growers. The farmers who used to get Rs 3-4 per kg would get Rs 6-7 per kg for their produce, with little risk of the bananas rotting away. But growing tissue culture banana is expensive as one has to spend around Rs 1.2 lakh a hectare, compared to Rs 60-70,000 per hectare for local varieties. “In tissue culture variety, fertilisers and drip irrigation play a big role. That add to the costs,” says Sushant Ranjan Das, a climatologist of the department, who is overseeing the state government’s plan of market-farmer link-up. To minimise the costs for farmers, the department is now giving Rs 40,603 per hectare as subsidy. “But the cost is offset by higher production as each rib in tissue culture plants would have 15-20 kg more bananas than the conventional ones,” says Das. Chadha says the biggest challenge is to convince the banana farmers to go for tissue culture banana as it would fetch them better prices. “Once Orissa becomes one of the top-five banana producing states, traders in metros like Delhi and Kolkata would get their bananas from here than Mumbai as it would save them transportation cost.”


Time’s ripe for berry picking

Jun 28, 2012

In recent times, many indigenous fruits such as the deep purpled jamun and wild berries are being marketed in many melas and horticultural exhibitions. Anitha Pailoor feels it is important to conserve these fruits from the wild, not only for the variety they bring to the fruit basket, but also for their medicinal value. “The fruit costs Rs 180 per kilo. It is a medicinal fruit, not an ordinary one!” Ramesh, a fruit vendor in the City market, is not concerned about the sale of juicy, dark coloured jamuns (syzigium cumunii) piled on his push cart.
The cart, with a couple of other red, yellow and green coloured wild fruits, is a window to the diverse wild fruits of the region.
The profuse fruiting and simultaneous ripening of the jamun is indicative of the onset of the rainy season and commencement of agricultural operations.
Jamun is considered wild but it is also cultivated. The fruit is rich in vitamin C. Its leaf and bark are also used in the preparation of medicine. Jamun seed powder is said to control diabetes.
Kokum (garcinia indica) and amla are other wild berries that are also cultivated. Along with these two prominent berries, there are many other wild fruits which are as good a source of nutrients as traditional fruits. Any person who has spent his childhood in the countryside is bound to have vivid memories of plucking assorted fruits from thorny bushes, tall trees and delicate vines in the woods.
“The berries hanging from high branches taught us tree climbing. Such trees do not exist anymore. The impact can be seen in wild animals crossing the threshold into farm lands,” says Venkatakrishna Sharma who has been trying to protect existing wild species in and around his farm in Muliya, Dakshina Kannada.
He has found a rare bannerale plant (syzigium hemisphericum) near his farm. Bats and monkeys feed on this fruit. Sharma feels that jackfruit and wild mangoes which grow naturally can also be added to the list of wild fruits.
He feels that rapid urbanisation, neglect of wild varieties in favour of hybrids and timber value of old trees are some of the reasons that pushed these varieties behind the screen.
Positive approach
In recent times, we have been witnessing several efforts to bring neglected fruits to the foreground. Be it in the form of a jackfruit mela or a wild mango exhibition, other wild berries also get a special mention.
Concentrated fruit syrup, squash, dried rind, jam, pickle and dry fruits are some of the common value-additions that are displayed.
The possibility of domestication of wild edible plants which have commercial value has also been explored. Way back in 1999, when dried kokum rind was priced at Rs 35 per kilo, Dattatreya Hegde Bairimane in Sirsi decided to plant them on two acres along with another wild berry, uppage (garcinia cambogia).
Another farmer in Sirsi, Mangalamurthi Dixit has grown kokum in his betta land (patches of natural forest linked to arecanut plantations). The labour problem that has hit agriculture has had a negative impact on this crop also.
Kokum fruits are ready in summer while uppage fruits ripen in the monsoon season, from June to August. Both the fruits are valued more for their dried rind. Kokum pulp is used in preparing jam. Dry rinds are also used as substitutes to tamarind in certain native dishes.
Till now, processing and value-addition of wild species are either done at the individual level or in home-based industries. Manorama Joshi, a farmer entrepreneur feels that successful local usage of these fruits could be an answer to the nutritional problems in rural areas, particularly among children and women. The fruits also have economic potential.
“Wild berries were our cookies during school days. Some of the fruits tend to colour our tongue. Unlike chocolates, each fruit tastes differently,” says Manorama who has observed that the word ‘wild’ has an immediate impact on consumers, whether in cities or towns. Manorama has been using wild food in the kitchen and also for medicinal purposes.
Distinct varieties
Each geographical area has unique wild varieties. Though wild fruits are found throughout the year, they are found prominently in summer.
A weed that grows in black cotton soil bears the fruit kaki hannu (solanum nigrum). The fruit, which tastes similar to tomato, is valued for its laxative properties. Gudde hannu (physalis minima) is a common weed that grows on the bunds in irrigated fields in North Karnataka.
Petlekai (grewia nervosa), gamatekai (solena amplexicaulis) hulimajjigehannu (tali minor), challe hannu (cordia dichotoma), khare hannu (canthium parviflorum), koule kayi (carissa carandas) and sampige hannu (flacourtia montana) are some other fruits that are popular. These fruits are naturally hardy and require less intensive care.
Shivakumar, a civil engineer in Madikeri, has been gathering information on wild species from the last two years.
He has managed to gather references on about 108 berries that are grown in Kodagu, while he has been able to explore 45 of them so far.
He feels that some of the species are specific to certain geographical conditions. Along with jamun, some other berries like karmanji and sarali are sold in the local market in Madikeri. Some of these fruits dominate over regularly available fruits in terms of price and demand.
He also poses serious questions about the sustainability of the resource base. Some of the plants and vines are cut for agricultural use. It is clear that once the demand increases, fruits are harvested by lopping branches and even cutting small trees. This practice can only increase pressure on resources.


Shun middlemen, litchi growers told

Feb 13, 2012

The National Horticulture Mission (NHM) has urged litchi growers to form groups and do market research in important cities of the country for export of litchi from the state at handsome price. If farmers can do away with the middlemen, they can get good price for litchi. State agriculture secretary-cum-NHM mission director N Vijaylaxmi and National Horticulture Board (NHB) managing director Vijay Kumar on Friday apprised litchi growers of the opportunities in the form of NHB subsidies and facilities for litchi marketing research, packaging, transportation and providing free stalls at fairs. Litchi fairs will be organized in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Amritsar and Jaipur where demand for this juicy fruit is huge.     

At Kinnow fest, experts tell Punjab farmers to grow other fruits

Feb 13, 2012

Out of the total 70,000 hectares under fruit cultivation in Punjab, Kinnow farming is carried out on 41,000 hectares — 58 per cent of the total area. Though Kinnow gives good yields to farmers, but grow other fruits as well, horticulture experts told farmers at the state-level Kinnow Festival being held at Sangam Palace in Abohar. Among the 4,631 varieties of citrus families on display at the festival, 4,493 alone were varieties of Kinnows. “Malta in the early 1970s used to be cultivated on 20,000 hectares. Now, the area has been reduced to 2,400 hectares and farmers have shifted from Malta to Kinnow because it pays better,” said Dr G S Kahlon, a senior horticulturist. Other citrus varieties like lemon, sweet orange, foster, marsh, etc are grown on only 13,000 hectare.     

Orange exporters choose local carriers to save costs

Feb 07, 2012

Despite opening a new trade route from Samdrupjongkhar to Bangladesh via Gauwhati-Meghalaya, exporters from the east are still using the Phuntsholing-Dawki, Indo-Bangla border, route to transport oranges to Bangladesh. After the new trade route was opened and declared safe in November last year, Bhutanese exporters were allowed by the regional trade office to export oranges in Bhutanese trucks. But the transport permit from Road Safety and Transport Authority (RSTA) allowed movement of local trucks only through Assam and Bengal leaving exporters uncertain if they would be allowed to travel via Meghalaya using local trucks. After exporting around 15 truck loads via Gauwhati-Meghalaya route on Indian trucks, exporters diverted their consignment via the Phuntsholing route even though the new route shortened the distance by almost 240 kilometers.     

Pomegranates fetch Rs 2,000 a dozen

Feb 01, 2012

Buying a pomegranate? Well, you may have to think twice. For, a dozen of pomegranates are being sold at Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000 in the market here. At least, a single fruit costs Rs 100 now. The bumper price has brought cheers to the growers, while the fruit-lovers are feeling the pinch. The fruit grown on Indian soil is considered tasty and is more in demand in Spain and European nations. With the prices skyrocketing, the export has gained momentum. Pune, Mumbai and Delhi are the major cities that receive fruits grown in the district. “There is a difference in the price of pomegranates sold at Hopcoms and market - it is Rs 250-Rs 300 per kg,” said Horticulture Department Deputy Director Kadiregowda. But, it’s a profit all the way to growers, he added.     

Dept ready with apple saplings to meet demand

Jan 30, 2012

Anticipating a big demand for apple plants from growers in view of a good spell of rain and snow this winter, the Horticulture Department has raised 45 lakh saplings in its nurseries besides importing “plant materials” from the USA, Canada and Switzerland under the Apple Rejuvenation Programme. Under the Rs 85-crore Apple Rejuvenation Programme launched last year, not much success could be achieved due to a prolonged dry spell in the winter. With a good spell of rain and snow this winter, the demand for planting new apple plants is expected to be pretty high, for which the department has made arrangements.     

Heavy snowfall promises healthier apples in HP

Jan 27, 2012

The country’s apple basket has a lot to cheer about this year. Abundant snowfall in Himachal Pradesh means apple growers will have a better crop. The entire apple belt had seen regular a spell of snow since January 4. “My orchard is covered under three feet of snow. This is a sign that it will be a bumper production this year,” said Gopal Mehta, an apple-grower at Kothgarh village in Shimla. “Snow is white manure for the crop. More snow means healthier and disease-free apples. It also sustains the required level of moisture in the soil during summer and provides essential nutrients,” said Kanwar Dayal Krishan Singh, another happy apple-grower. Kothgarh and Kotkhai districts produce the ‘Royal Delicious’, ‘Red Delicious’ and ‘Rich-a-Red’ varieties of apples. The fruit economy of the state runs into Rs 2,000 crore per year and flourishes mainly in Shimla, Kullu, Mandi, Lahaul, Spiti, Kinnaur and Chamba.     

Indian company looks to increase banana exports

Jan 24, 2012

Demand in Europe and the US has spurred India’s largest banana producer to renew its focus on exports. India’s leading banana producer Desai Fruits and Vegetables is ramping up production to meet international demand. According to a report by the Economic Times, the company has seen demand increase in Europe and the US and is recruiting new growers to help supply export markets.     

Asian markets spark citrus export growth

Jan 20, 2012

Citrus exports in the U.S. appear to be going up, as shippers commit more shipments in Asia and expand their presence in established markets. In 2010, total U.S. citrus exports were valued at $2.9 billion, a 13% increase from 2009, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Fresh oranges and orange juice led the way, followed by fresh grapefruit, lemons and grapefruit juice. Major overseas markets for U.S. citrus include Canada, Japan and the Netherlands. Exports of fresh oranges were valued at $380.8 million, a 10% increase, while the volume of fresh orange exports increased 12% from 2009, reaching nearly 487,000 metric tons. Canada is the top export destination for U.S. fresh oranges, followed by China, South Korea and Japan, according to the USDA.     

Strawberry bowl braces for fruitful crop, wider reach

Jan 17, 2012

A year after inclement weather took a toll on production, farmers in Mahabaleshwar, the hill-town that produces over 85 per cent of the strawberries in the country, are bracing up for a good 2011-12 season. “This year we expect production to cross 20,000 tonnes against 17,000 tonnes last year,” Mr Kisan Bhilare, himself a farmer and Vice-President, all-India Strawberry Growers' Association, says. The price of strawberries, at Rs 100-110 a kg at the production end, is also considered to be lucrative. Adding to the cheer is the fact that domestic demand for the fruit is robust, and thanks to improved logistical support, their strawberries are now also finding takers from far-away cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Ranchi and Jaipur.     

Japan Approves Rainbow Papaya Import

Jan 17, 2012

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday that on Dec. 1, the Government of Japan approved Rainbow papaya for commercial shipment to Japan. The Rainbow papaya is genetically engineered to be resistant to the papaya ringspot virus. The USDA said this announcement marks the beginning of a new chapter for papaya growers from Hawaii. "The market opening in Japan is great news for Hawaii's papaya producers and even better news for American agricultural exports," said Michael Scuse, Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services. "This announcement will ensure that Hawaii's papaya producers help to drive our agricultural economy by expanding exports, creating jobs, and strengthening our nation's competitiveness."     

NZ threatens WTO action on Tasmania's apple import ban

Jan 13, 2012

THE federal government is putting pressure on Tasmania to allow imports into the state of New Zealand apples. The state's ban risks jeopardising Australia's $30 billion of global exports of beef, wheat, wool and other foods and rural products under World Trade Organisation free trade rules. New Zealand apple grower organisation Pipfruit NZ wants its government to retaliate against Australia if its apples continue to be blocked from Tasmania. It is also pushing for a legal case at the WTO, arguing Australia is breaching its free trade deal with New Zealand on unimpeded access for agricultural goods. Tasmania's Acting Premier and Primary Industries Minister Bryan Green admitted yesterday he had discussed Tasmania's position on New Zealand apples with the federal government "on a number of occasions".     

Federal Government stews over apple ban

Jan 10, 2012

The Federal Government is warning Tasmania's ban on New Zealand apple imports is putting the country's $32 billion agricultural export market at risk. The State Government is refusing to allow New Zealand apples into the state because of the risk of importing the disease fire blight. A spokeswoman for Federal Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig says the Commonwealth's decision to lift the national ban is backed by science. She says Tasmania's refusal to adhere means Australia might not be fulfilling its World Trade Organisation obligations. The spokeswoman says it also puts the country's entire agricultural export market at risk. It is unclear whether the Commonwealth can override the state's decision.     

Orange Juice Rallies to Five-Month High on Florida Frost Damage

Jan 05, 2012

Orange-juice futures jumped to a five-month high in New York after frigid weather damaged citrus crops in Florida, the world’s second-biggest grower. Temperatures in about 75 percent of the state’s citrus- growing region were cold enough for frost, with a hard freeze in about 25 percent of the area, forecaster MDA EarthSat Weather said today in a report. Damage isn’t expected to be significant or widespread, Don Keeney, a senior agricultural meteorologist at EarthSat, said in the report. “There’s definitely going to be some damage to the crop,” Michael Smith, the president of T&K Futures and Options in Port St. Lucie, Florida, said in a telephone interview. The frost probably will mean lower yields in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s February crop report, he said.     

Indian pomegranates to satiate American tastebuds

Jan 02, 2012

After mangoes, Indian pomegranates will cross boundaries to touch the US shores as the exotic fruit has cleared pest risk analysis by US department of agriculture (USDA). USDA is expected issue a notification shortly after which pomegranates from Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra and Gujarat will be exported to the US. Leading Indian varieties of pomegranates such as Ganesh of Maharashtra, Dholka of Gujarat, Jodhpur Local of Rajasthan, Bassein seedless and KVK -1 from Karnataka and Jalore Selection in North India may soon make their way to the US market. “We have been seeking access to the US market for pomegranates for the past four years and finally the fruit is ready to hit the US shores as the agricultural department there has completed the pest-risk analysis on pomegranates. Even the November 23 deadline for comments on the fruit’s entry into the US market has expired. So far, there have been no complaint against Indian pomegranates, which means we can expect a final notification for entering the US market very soon,” a senior official of the agricultural and processed food product export development authority (APEDA) told Financial Chronicle.     

Record agriculture output, poor apple crop

Dec 30, 2011

It has been a year of mixed fortunes for farmers with the state recording an all-time high rabi and kharif production and the lowest apple output since 1999. The government took a major initiative to promote sustainable and environment-friendly agriculture and horticulture in the ecologically fragile hill state by framing an organic farming policy and implemented a crop diversification project with Japanese assistance. With just 23 per cent area under assured irrigation, the farmers are entirely dependent on rain for a good crop. The weather god obliged the state with a normal monsoon and as a result the kharif production is set to cross 9 lakh tonnes (provisional). The maize production is likely to be around 7.65 lakh tonnes as against 6.05 lakh tonnes and rice over 1.40 lakh tonnes. Earlier, the state had a record rabi production of 7.27 lakh tonnes.     

The reluctant Gourmet - Apple of your eye

Dec 23, 2011

American Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, New Zealand Gala, Japanese Fuji. Just five apples. And they're taking over the world. A hefty portion of Slow Food's Almanac 2011 is dedicated to the vanishing apples of the world. Their lessons are drawn from Italy, the Netherlands and America. But the story's the same in India. When was the last time you saw a selection of local apples at the super market? According to Agricultural Products, India, the apple tree is believed to have originated from Asia. Most of India's apples are grown in North India, across three mountainous states: Himachal Pradesh, (known as the Apple State), Jammu and Kashmir and Uttarakhand.     

Imported fruits to cost more as rupee declines

Dec 21, 2011

Crunchy Washington and Fiji apples and Sri Lankan strawberries are likely to be costlier due to the falling rupee. Already, prices of imported fruits are 20% to 25% higher than local ones. Close to 50% of the country's fruit consumption comprises imported varieties. Nearly 5,000 cartons (each contains 22 tons) of imported apples reach Chennai shelves every year. They are likely to be 25% more expensive more from now on. "Prices per carton have risen by Rs 250 to Rs 300. There is also an import duty of 50% on such fruits. So a price rise is inevitable," said K Unnikrishnan, proprietor, Mudra Export.     

Papaya: Introducing high-yield varieties key to healthy profits

Dec 19, 2011

It is native to southern Mexico and Central America, but has long been known and cultivated in the home gardens by the people of tropical and subtropical areas. It is one of the few crops which fruit throughout the year, offering quick returns. Over time, it has grown from the status of a home-garden crop to that of a commercial crop in many tropical countries as it is one of the highest producers of fruits by per-hectare.     

Russians prefer foreign, packaged fruit and vegetables

Dec 16, 2011

Russian retailers and retail clients prefer to buy more expensive but nicely packaged imported fruit and vegetables rather than domestic produce which is sold loose. According to analysts Fruit-Inform, Russians believe that the packaged products from abroad is better as it is graded, washed and somehow tastes better. For example, Russian carrots cost only one third of those coming from Poland, Holland or Belgium but they are more difficult to sell than the imports - despite a price tag of around RUR5 per kilo. Whereas Russian apples cost around RUR 20-25/kg (EUR 0.48-0.60/kg) and Polish apples around RUR30 per kg, it is the latter that are preferred.     

Orange revolution sweeps Sonapur

Dec 13, 2011

A change is brewing across Assam’s farms. The farmers of the State, who for long stuck to rice and tea, are taking to orange cultivation in a big way. Take the example of the Sonapur area near Guwahati where majority of the farmers prefer to earn their living through orange cultivation. Sonapur is famous for its sweet and quality oranges. The Sentinel visited Sonapur to take stock of the orange revolution sweeping the area for the last several years and found that majority of the farmers in the area prefer to take to orange cultivation as it fetches them good profit in comparison to other forms of cultivation.     

Strawberries and dreams in India's hill districts

Dec 13, 2011

Farmer Shripati Nana Jadhav has good reasons to be a fan of strawberries -- they've funded construction of his simple, spacious house near the western Indian hill station of Panchgani and allowed him to send his four children to college. Jadhav has been growing strawberries for more than 30 years, taking advantage of the temperate climate that lured the British from the coastal monsoon heat over 100 years ago to branch out from traditional cereal crops and sugar.     

Sri Lanka Premier calls for a stop to fruit imports

Dec 09, 2011

Prime Minister of Sri Lanka D.M. Jayaratne has called for stopping fruit imports to the country to encourage the local production. Jayaratne has said that since there is a good local fruit production, steps should be taken to further encourage food crop cultivation in the country and stop unnecessary imports to the country. He has told parliament that lands that have not been used for cultivation could be given to people in estates to encourage them to grow. "They could also be given livestock to increase the production of milk," he has said. The Premier has pointed out that the country can be self-sufficient agriculturally and should not waste money on unwanted expenditure. "There is no point in being in debt to the world by spending money on unwanted things. After all, it is the people who have to pay for it," he has pointed out. According to Jayaratne, more steps needed to be taken to promote agriculture and thereby lift the financial status of the poor people.     

Local per acre citrus yield half of India’s output

Dec 07, 2011

The country’s citrus production per acre stands at approximately 4.6 tons, almost half of India’s 9 tons per acre, according to the University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF). Disease, malpractice, mismanagement along with fake chemical fertilisers and pesticides are pushing production levels down, UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan told The Express Tribune. Developed and emerging economies like US, Spain and Brazil produce 12 to 15 tons per acre, triple Pakistan’s per acre production. Pakistan, 13th largest grower of the fruit in the world, produces 2.36 million tons annually which is grown over 199,000 hectares. In the report titled “A century old citrus disease, the reality and misconception” author UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan and associate Muhammad Fakharuddin Razi highlighted that the government should take appropriate measures to save the citrus industry which is facing severe threats due to greening and Huang Long Bing (HLB) diseases.     

Apple rejuvenation project set to take off

Nov 30, 2011

The implementation of the Rs 85-crore apple rejuvenation project to replace old and senile plantations with new high-yielding varieties will finally commence this winter. Learning from the mistakes of the past when growers neglected pollinating varieties and mostly planted commercial varieties, the Horticulture Department has made it mandatory to have at least 33 per cent pollinators in every orchard. It has also procured a number of self-pollinating varieties which also have commercial value like top red, gale gala, fuji and vance glacoius for the purpose.     

Government to unveil special train to ferry fruits and flowers

Nov 28, 2011

Having lost fruits and vegetables worth crores to poor infrastructure and transport, India will soon unveil a special insulated and ventilated train next month that ferries fruits and flowers from Mumbai to New Delhi and hauls vegetables on its way back. The train is a joint initiative between the National Horticulture Board (NHB) and Container Corporation of India, or Concor, a Union government enterprise that provides inland transport and cargo-handling facilities. The train will link the Turbhe yard of Concor near the Vashi market in Mumbai via Nasik-Bhusawal to the New Azadpur market in New Delhi. On return journey, it touches Agra and Surat.     

Bhutan’s Orange Exports to Bangla Caught in Dooars Jam

Nov 24, 2011

Bhutan’s Orange exports to Bangladesh through India, after reaching the summit in price realization and volumes two years ago, are likely to face bottlenecks due to the brewing political unrest at Dooars in the North Bengal foothills. Oranges from land-locked Bhutan go to the Bangladesh mainly through Assam or West Bengal foothills with many Indian stakeholders directly or indirectly involved at many tiers, from skilled labour, ground handling agents to transporters and investors. According to the Bhutan Agricultural Food Regulatory Authority (Bafra), the 2007-08 and 2008-2009 sea-son ended with record returns. Against an average price of $8-10 per box (28 kg), average annual sales of nearly 20,000 tonnes to Bangladesh during the said period fetched a return of even $15 per box. “it was a record,” said a BAFRA official . “But thereafter, there has been downtrend,” the official added. According to exporters, insurgency or unpredictable bandhs in Assam have always remained a major hindrance. In addition, time consuming clearance, owing to tight security on Indo-Bhutan and Indo- Bangladesh borders is also a matter of concern. “Earlier, during any major blockade on Assam side, we used to take West Bengal routes. But the Darjeeling crisis, now spreading to the deep corner of West Bengal foothills, has become a major worry,” Said T Drupka, a major orange exporter. “Orange, being highly perishable, does not allow delay in goods movement. And a single rooted fruits causes rejection of the entire box by buyers,” said K Namgyal, an orchard buyer. Eventually, “Beside the nearly 5000 handling workers in India, Exporters and traders, Who have already Paid to the orchard or Butan whole sellers, will have to be dependent on Indian markets around Siliguri in West Bengal. But the price offered bt these markets is much lower than Bangladesh through the retail level price is not likely to reflect that,” said K Paul, an Indian handling agent.     
Source: BusinessStandard

UK, US to help in setting up of banana cold chain facility

Nov 23, 2011

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Southern Region, has mooted setting up of a cold-chain facility for bananas through the public-private-partnership model in Tiruchi in Tamil Nadu, said its Chairman, Mr T.T. Ashok. Addressing a farewell luncheon meeting hosted for the outgoing British High Commissioner to India, Mr Richard Stagg, , Mr Ashok said the proposed cold-chain for bananas will be a well-integrated unit — from providing farm technologies to farmers to setting up facilities for processing and packaging the produce at the farm gate.     

EU: Banana import licenses to be abolished

Nov 22, 2011

Freshfel says that 'administratively burdensome and costly' banana import licenses will be removed on 1 January next year. Freshfel Europe has praised the decision of the EU Management Committee for the Common Organisation of Agricultural Markets to abolish the bloc's banana import license system. According to the European fresh produce association, it has advocated the repeal of banana import licenses for several months, describing the monitoring tool as 'redundant' and 'unnecessarily burdensome' for operators after the move of the import regime to a tariff-only system.     

Himachal invites private investment in apple production

Nov 15, 2011

Himachal Pradesh has invited investments in the private sector to develop apple production, the mainstay of the state's fruit economy, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said Friday. "We would welcome investments in the private sector for developing apple nurseries to multiply imported rootstock to increase its yield," Dhumal told officials of Dev Bhumi Cold Chain Ltd. He said the government was also keen to associate private sector in creating quality cold chain infrastructure to store apples.     

Strawberries to be late by a month or more

Nov 04, 2011

Those looking forward to fresh farm strawberries from the slopes of Mahabaleshwar to hit the markets anytime now, will have to wait longer this year — at least till November-end or even mid-December. Prolonged monsoon and high temperature led to delay in planting by almost a month, which, in turn, has reduced the overall produce by almost 20 per cent. The usual strawberry season begins with the mother saplings being imported from California in June. These are then planted in nurseries of villages like Wai along the foothills of Mahabaleshwar, 220 km from Mumbai. Each plant gives about five to six runners which are re-planted in the fields in September. All India Strawberry Growers’ Association chairman Balasaheb Bhilare said the strawberry was planted on over 1,800 acres of land last year and they had hoped to increase it to 2,000 acres this time. Rains, however, spoilt the plan.     

Himachal apple output at 12-year low

Nov 03, 2011

With the apple harvest over in Himachal Pradesh, production has declined to the lowest in 12 years, officials say. The entire production this year is estimated to be less than 13 million boxes This includes apple sold, in boxes and gunny bags (each box weighs 24 kg). The majority of the harvest is over by late October. Only last year the state had record production of 44.6 million boxes.     

Russian rush for Argentinean topfruit

Oct 31, 2011

Russia imports 168,000 tonnes of Patagonia-grown apples and pears through the first nine months of the year Newly-released figures have shown that Russia is leading the way in imports of apples from Argentina's Patagonia region this year, bringing in some 58,600 tonnes through the first nine months of the year. According to figures published on Fruticultura Sur and reported by Fruit-Inform, Russia also imported a large volume of Patagonia-grown pears between January-September – 109,400 tonnes – making it the second largest importer behind Brazil (132,400 tonnes).     

J&K''s fruit production to touch 40 lakh tn by 2014

Oct 28, 2011

The Jammu and Kashmir government targets to produce 40 lakh tonnes of fresh and dry fruits in the state by 2014. "We hope that in 2014, the production and export of fresh and dry fruits from the state will be touched up to 40 lakh tonnes in Jammu and Kashmir", the Minister for Horticulture, Health and Floriculture, Sham Lal Sharma told PTI.     

Oman plans to import more bananas, mangoes

Oct 25, 2011

Filipino traders can now look forward to exporting fruits to Oman after officials in the Middle Eastern nation had expressed interest in setting up joint ventures here, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said. Demand for oriental fruits like Philippine banana, pineapple, and mangoes “are gaining strong foothold” in the Oman mainstream market, the DFA said, Quoting Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) chairman Khalil Bin Abdullah Bin Mohammed Al Khonji. As a result, Al Khonji said that some Omani investors may explore establishing joint venture projects with Filipino counterparts to ensure sufficient supply of the same products in the local market.     

Our apple's future

Oct 24, 2011

An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Even if 10 per cent of India's 1.2 billion people were to subscribe to this adage, it would require a quantity of over 6.5 million tonnes (m.t.), taking an average apple weighing 150 grams. That's a whopping 4.7 m.t. more than the 1.8 m.t. produced annually by the country. This 4.7 m..t gap is a big opportunity we somehow seem to be missing, even while the world is not. During the last five years, our apple production has remained almost constant and nothing appears to be changing on this front. Compare this with China, which has raised its output by 5 m.t. over this period, despite being the world's largest apple producer at 32 m.t..     

Centre not serious about raising apples import duty: Himachal

Oct 14, 2011

Key apple-producing state Himachal Pradesh has alleged that the Centre is not serious about protecting the interest of farmers by hiking import duty on the fruit, despite lower cost apples from China and the US hurting the domestic industry. "The Centre is not serious about hiking the import duty on apples coming from outside to safeguard the interests of local growers and trying to wriggle out of the issue by referring to certain clauses of the World Trade Organisation (WTO)," State Horticulture Minister Narinder Bragta said. Bragta, in a letter to Commerce and Industries Minister Anand Sharma, had urged him to get apples included in the category of special products.     

Taste for Imported Fruit Keeps Rising:Korea

Oct 05, 2011

Tropical fruits are becoming an increasingly common sight in grocery aisles at supermarkets in Korea. From bananas and pineapples from the Philippines, to kiwis from New Zealand, imported fruits are much sought after by Korean consumers these days. This is especially the case this year as inclement weather conditions and torrential rains severely affected the domestic fruit harvest, causing Korean shoppers to lean more towards imported alternatives.     

Brazil becomes net fruit importer

Oct 05, 2011

For the first time since 1998, the commercial balance of fruit in Brazil is in the red. In the first eight months of the year, the sector has a deficit of US$43.8 million, according to data from the Secretary of External Commerce (Secex), compiled by the Brazilian Institute of Fruits (Ibraf). Between January and August 2011, imports of fresh fruit reached US$ 300.8 million, a 34.6% rise regarding the same period of last year. Exports added up to US$ 257 million until August, a drop of 3.3% regarding the first eight months of 2010. In volume, external sales fell 21.8% in the same period comparison, going from last year’s 419,000 tons to 328,000 tons this year.     

Canada will double imports of Peruvian exotic fruits

Oct 05, 2011

At “Expoalimentaria 2011”, Alma Farías, consultant for TFO Canada, explained that the rise in the market of organic products on a world scale was above the US$54,000 million until now, due to a higher demand by countries like United States, Germany and France, and also the rise in income per capita of Denmark, Switzerland and Austria. According to explanations from the specialist, this situation caused a higher interest in Canada in searching for new suppliers of organic products and less dependence on the US which supplies them more than 70% of this kind of cultivation (US$187,000 million).     

Contaminated US melons not imported to UAE, authority says

Oct 03, 2011

A variety of melon that caused an outbreak of listeria in the US is not imported to the UAE, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA) said yesterday. "The melons sold in the UAE market are safe," the authority said. The outbreak, which has been traced to the Colorado cantaloupe variety of melon, has caused up to 16 deaths and affected at least 72 people in 18 states, making it the deadliest food poisoning outbreak in the US in more than a decade, the Associated Press reported yesterday. Mohammad Jalal Al Reyaysa, Director of Communication and Community Service at ADFCA, told Gulf News there is no need for preventive measures in the UAE as the cantaloupes were only distributed internally in the US.     

Prices of fruit imports jump on weak local currency : Seoul

Oct 03, 2011

Prices of several imported fruits surged in September due to a weak local currency, posing a threat to the government's anti-inflation efforts, industry sources said Sunday. According to the sources, market prices of imported grapes, blueberries and pineapples jumped some 10 percent from a month ago, driven up by the won's recent steep descent. The South Korean currency fell more than 12 percent to the U.S. dollar in September compared with two months ago on global recovery woes, according to data compiled by the Bank of Korea.     

Russia: Akhmed Fruits expects to increase imports by 15%

Oct 03, 2011

Akhmed Fruit has been importing fruit and vegetables into Russia since 1996 and is now one of the leading fruit and vegetable importers in the country. The company's main products are apples, bananas and citrus fruit. With an average import of 9,600,000 kg per week, Akhmed Fruit makes good use of its 18,000 m² of cold storage and 11,000 m² additional storage space.     

Russia accounts for nearly 8% of global fruit imports

Sep 30, 2011

Russia’s share of global fruit imports has reached almost 8% in terms of value and even more in terms of volume over the last few years due to rapidly increasing consumption, according to Fruit-Inform. The main reason for this situation is that the Russian economy is recovering and there is a trend to consume products of higher quality. Furthermore, due to Russia’s ban on vegetable imports from the EU and some other foreign countries, many CIS countries (former Soviet Union republics) are stepping up their exports to Russia.     

Thai fruits, vegetables imports may grow 15%

Sep 30, 2011

Fruits and vegetables imports from Thailand are expected to grow 15 per cent this year, as new products were being introduced to the UAE, Thailand’s ambassador to the UAE said. The imports of fruits and vegetables from Thailand is set to grow as aggressive promotional activities being planned by the Thai Embassy said Somchai Charanasomboon, ambassador. He said that last year Thailand’s export touched $2.8 billion. After inaugurating ‘Taste of Thailand’ promotion being held in various Lulu Hypermarkets in Abu Dhabi, the envoy said that the trade ties between Thailand and UAE has increased many fold in past years and will reach new heights in coming years. Currently fruits and vegetables constitute the major chunk of export to the UAE.     

Centre to states: Lift all restrictions on fruit and vegetables movement

Sep 29, 2011

The Centre has asked states to lift all restrictions on the movement of fruit and vegetables, a move that seeks to eliminate intermediaries, reduce wastage and tame the stubbornly high food inflation. The proposal also aims at setting the stage for opening up multi-brand retail to foreign direct investment. Since agriculture produce and marketing is a state subject, the Centre hopes to use its leverage in deciding state plans to push them to commit to reforms. Free movement of perishable horticulture products will enable farmers to bring their produce directly to retailers or allow retailers to purchase from farmers. This will reduce the role of middlemen in the process and benefit farmers as well as consumers.     

Brazil raises apple imports by 48%

Sep 27, 2011

Brazilian apple imports added up to 50,800,000 tons, with Argentina as main provider (40,100,000 tons in the last eight months). With a strong currency (Real) and a loss in quality in the 2011 harvest due to past hail storms, more imported apples are reaching the Brazilian market. From January to August, according to data from the Brazilian Secretary of External Commerce, the amount of imported fruits rose by 47.7%, reaching 50,800,000 tons. According to the president of the Brazilian Association of Apple Producers (ABPM), Pierre Pérès, Argentina is the main origin country of the imported fruits. According to data from Secex, Argentina exported about 40,100,000 tons of fruit to Brazil in the last eight months, corresponding to 79% of the all imported amount in that period.     

Fresh fruit, vegetable imports grow:Dubai

Sep 27, 2011

Dubai has witnessed a 16 per cent growth in the importation of fresh fruits and a 20 per cent growth in that of fresh vegetables since 2008. The emirate imported nearly 1.7 billion kilograms of fruits and vegetables valued at approximately Dh5.3 billion last year. The importation of fruits and vegetables from across the world continues to grow and Dubai has also proved to be the re-export centre for the region for markets such as Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman and Bahrain, said Hussain Nasser Lootah, Director-General of Dubai Municipality.     

India: Euro Fruits reaching into SE Asian markets

Sep 23, 2011

2011 was a difficult year for Indian grape exports with volumes down around 50% from last season. Euro Fruits, a leading grape exporter to EU market is branching out to reach new markets in South East Asia. Nitin Agrawal CEO at Euro Fruits, says that although there was a dip in volumes of Indian grapes exported to the EU in 2011, he expects this to rebound over the coming seasons. "This will be accomplished by industry consolidation and the repetition of this season's perfect record as to regulatory compliance." He expects the long-term serious players in the industry to obtain the lion's share of the supply base.     

Macfrut 2011, importers and buyers from Russia

Sep 23, 2011

The International Office of Macfrut, the fruit and vegetable trade fair scheduled from 5 to 7 October in Cesena (Italy), took part in World Food Moscow from 13 to 16 September. The main goals were to promote Italian companies in the sector and agree on the participation at Macfrut of the leading retail chains of the Russian Federation. (Cesena, 21 September 2011) Russia is an important market for the Italian ffresh produce industry. Over the years, Macfrut, the major event for this sector held at Cesena Fiera from 5 to 7 October, has created an extensive network of relations with Russian traders.     

Brazil: Apple imports grow 48%

Sep 21, 2011

With a strong currency (Real) and a loss in harvest quality in 2011 due to hail, more apples are being imported to the national market. According to the Secretary of External Commerce (Secex), from January to August, the amount of imported apple has risen by 47.7%, reaching 50,800 tons. According to the president of the Brazilian Association of Apple Producers (ABPM), Pierre Pérès, Argentina is the main origin. According to Secex, this country exported about 40,100 tons of fruit to Brazil in the last eight months, corresponding to 79% of all the imports in that period. According to a research about family budgets, made by IBGE, in 2002 apple consumption per capita was of 1.68 kilos. In 2008 it grew to 2.15 kilos per capita, a rise of 28% in six years. Entity's evaluation says that consumption tends to rise for 2011 due to pressure on the market by the fruit offer.     

Dutch technology in cold storage solves Himachal apple-growers' problems

Sep 21, 2011

With introduction of Dutch technology in cold storage that started recently in Uttarkashi district, Uttarakhand, there has come a sigh of relief for apple-growers in the hill state. "The technology called controlled atmospheric cold storage has been provided by a Dutch company called Van Amerongen," Laxmi Prakash Semwal, director, Sri Jagadamba Samiti, a local NGO, informed FnB News in a chat over telephone. Semwal said that around Rs 15.5 crore had been invested by Stiching Het Groene Woundt (SHGW), a Dutch foundation for the benefit of small farmers in Uttarakhand adding that around 30 per cent of the crops were being wasted near the farms and in order to reduce the wastages, a cold storage was set up for the first time in the state, under the apple project.     

Citrus import grows in Russia

Sep 19, 2011

According to a study conducted by USDA, between January and April 2011, the citrus import volume in Russia noted a 29% increase compared to the same period in 2010. Svetlana Ilyina, who wrote the report, ascribes this significant increase to the new habit among Russian consumers to eat healthily. To this she adds the light consumption increase and the consolidation of domestic currency which allows imports more affordable. In 2010 a 16% growth is recorded compared to the previous year. The new record of imported citrus is 1.5 million tons, while in 2010 the value was $1.2 billion     

France: Tax on imported fruit and vegetables?

Sep 15, 2011

The French minister of Agriculture, Bruno Le Maire. has brought attention to a European negative, which allows the taxation of imported fruit and vegetables from third countries, which does not apply the same rules as the European Union. The negative, which is part of European Law and has been validated by the WTO is just about in disuse. The minister announced this during the presentation of a plan of action for French fruit and vegetable growers, who are meeting with growing financial problems. Furthermore the government has made 25 million Euro available.     

Poor procurement, production of apples in HP hits processing, affects state

Sep 15, 2011

Due to unprecedented climatic conditions, the state of Himachal Pradesh has been hit hard with an unusual drop in the procurement and production of apples, this year. This has been a major cause of concern for the Himachal Pradesh Horticulture Produce Process and Marketing Corporation (HPMC). "Apple crops have been affected drastically this year with the changing climatic conditions," Madan Chauhan, managing director, HPMC, explained to FnB News in a chat over telephone. Chauhan added that the low production of apples had not only affected the procurements of processable apple products in the market, but also had affected the state's economy, it was dependent on worth Rs 2,500 crore of apple production from the apple industry.     

Fruits, vegetable prices increase : Pakistan

Sep 13, 2011

Fruit and vegetable prices have increased amid heavy rains in the country including twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Association of Wholesale Vegetable and Fruit Market officials told APP that the prices increased of different fruits, including apples, grapes and Banana. ‘Supply decreased by 200 trucks to 400 trucks, affecting the prices,’ he said.     

CII workshop focuses on quality apple production in Himachal

Sep 07, 2011

Focusing on improving quality and quantity of apple producing methodologies, Confederation of Indian Industry(CII) organized a days’ workshop here at Thanedhar, Kotgarh that was attended by scientists and fruit growers. Speaking on the occasion Gurdev Singh, director horticulture stressed upon adopting new techniques, water conservation and using better planting material for improving quality and yields. He said that whereas late Satyanand Stokes pioneered in introducing commercial growing of apple as a cash crop from Kotgarh but it was time to revisit the subject as climate change and global warming has had an impact in the fruit producing belts of the state.     

India: Banana cultivation becoming popular

Sep 07, 2011

Even with little or no marketing support, banana cultivation is rapidly spreading among small-time farmers, who are looking to the crop as a means to augment income through short-term investments. Onam season is a special time for them because this is the time of the year when bananas (nendran) fetch the best of prices though farmers in Ernakulam believe that this year, Onam price level is expected to persist beyond the festival season. The demand for bananas peaks during the Onam season because of its varied use during the festivities and some farmers are looking up to banana cultivation as even more promising than natural rubber, said a senior official of the department of agriculture here. It takes between 10 and 12 months for the harvest once banana saplings are planted. This is a big attraction for small farmers, who cannot make heavy investments for a long cycles without getting some returns from time to time.     

Rs2.5 cr fruit market at Kupwara inaugurated

Sep 05, 2011

In what would help strengthen the marketing activities across the state, Minister for Health, Horticulture & Floriculture, Sham Lal Sharma today dedicated a Rs 2.5 crore fruit and vegetable market to public. The Minister on the occasion said that government was committed to spread the marketing activities for the fruit and vegetable traders in every nook and corner of the State to improve their income strata. He, according to an official statement, said efforts are being made to procure the products of the farmers from their doorsteps. With the opening of Kupwara mandi, the Minister said a long pending demand of this hilly district has been fulfilled.     

K’taka to establish packhouses, ripening chambers, modernise cold storages

Sep 01, 2011

Karnataka government is looking at establishing packhouse and ripening chambers for fruits and vegetables. The state has also taken up initiatives to modernise its cold storage centres. The state government decided to take up all these projects and initiatives because despite being known for its sizeable production of fruits, the state was unable to harness its export potential to the fullest extent because of multiple reasons. These include the underutilisation of the potential because of issues such as lack of supply chain and related infrastructure, and improper post-harvest mechanism.     

Apple prices higher than last year in Ukraine

Sep 01, 2011

According to Fruit-Inform Project, average wholesale prices for apples in Ukraine are 30-35% higher than in the same period of last year notwithstanding the price decrease expectations in the new season. One of the reason for relatively high apple prices (in comparison with last year) is late maturing of apples in 2011. “Last year's spring came earlier, and summer was very hot that enabled producers to start apple harvesting almost 2 weeks earlier than this year”, Tetiana Getman, Head of Fruit-Inform Project, said. “The apple market is expected to become more active, and the supply to grow, in approximately 1.5-2 weeks that will impact prices. And expected growth of apple production in Poland and other EU countries will exert strong pressure on the market”, the expert continued.     

Demand for imported fruits growing – Nepal

Aug 29, 2011

Despite a rise in price by Rs 30 to Rs 40 per kg, the demand for imported fruits has increased by at least 10 percent this year. The price of imported fruits has increased in the international market due to their increased consumption, making them expensive in the domestic market as well. As most of the fruits are imported from countries like Thailand and China, the increase in currency valuation has also contributed to making them expensive in the local market.     

Citrus imports higher than apple in Russia

Aug 29, 2011

Russia becomes one of the biggest citrus importers in the world. According to a study from the Foreign Agricultural Service by the Department of Agriculture of US, citrus is the second most popular fruit in Russia, following the apple. According to a report by the Foreign Agricultural Service by the Department of Agriculture of US (USDA), as to the citrus participation in the Russian market, from the 471,861 metric tons (MT) getting inside the country in 2000 it rose to 1,480,695 MT in 2010, a year when the market value for citrus in Russia was around 1.2 billions.     

HP assembly for imposing anti-dumping duty on Chinese apples

Aug 26, 2011

The Himachal assembly unanimously adopted a private members bill that impresses upon the Union government to impose anti-dumping duty on apples being imported from China. Moving the bill that was later adopted by the House, opposition member and senior Congress leader Kaul Singh Thakur said imported apple had become a threat to the economy of growers in the state. He said that about 1.60 lakh farmers were dependent upon the fruit crop, though Congress legislators in their individual capacity had taken up the matter with the Centre, but a unanimous resolution of the state assembly would make the demand more effective.     

Early reduction of melon and watermelon supply in Ukraine

Aug 26, 2011

According to Fruit-Inform Project, there is considerable reduction of supply of melons and watermelons observing in Ukraine this week. This fact enables farmers from the southern Ukrainian regions to increase prices in some cases. Farmers report of the melon and watermelon yields having turned out to be lower than average in recent years due to cold weather during blossoming period. As a result, the size and yields of melons and watermelons are lower than average.     

Lawsuit filed against US FDA for lifting restrictions on cantaloupe imports

Aug 26, 2011

Fresh Del Monte Produce Inc. (FDP) filed a lawsuit in federal court in Maryland in an effort to lift US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) restrictions on cantaloupe imports amid concerns about potential salmonella contamination. Del Monte, one of the largest importers of cantaloupes into the US, said it was disputing claims by the FDA and several state health-agency officials that some cantaloupes the company previously imported from a Guatemalan farm and packing facility were contaminated with salmonella. The company maintained that the facilities were in full compliance with these food safety procedures. "The restrictions imposed by the FDA on Del Monte Fresh Produce's ability to import cantaloupes are unnecessary and not supported by the facts," company's marketing executive Dennis Christou said.     

Mexico: banana export is reduced

Aug 25, 2011

From January to July Tabasco banana production fell by 55%. This year it has been lousy for Tabasco's agricultural exports, as producers of pineapple shipments had zero, while the banana export volumes slashed to half that of 2010. According to export statistics of the agricultural sector generated by the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food (SAGARPA), the lime is only product to be exported from Tabasco, which operates with stable numbers from one year to another.     

Fruit, vegetable demand up by 60 pc – Oman

Aug 24, 2011

Shopping malls and grocery shops across the Sultanate have witnessed more than 60 per cent increase in demand for fruit and vegetables during Ramadhan. All shopping malls, including Lulu Hypermarket, Family Shopping Centre, KM Trading, Safeer Hypermarket, City Centre, Sultan Centre and Khimji Marts are supporting Ramadhan activities and have made elaborate arrangements for Ramadhan shoppers. However at some supermarkets, prices of fruits and vegetables have gone up sharply from the very beginning of this month. In general, many fruits and vegetables are available from within Oman. In case of shortages of some local items, “we source the same from neighbouring countries,” a hypermarket spokesman told the Observer.     

India: Organic farming tag for litchi

Aug 23, 2011

With an international accredited organic farming certification organization, International Panacea Ltd. (IPL), giving certification to litchi, Bihar government has made a headway in its efforts to extend organic farming in the state. Nafed, a national cooperative marketing federation, collaborated with IPL to assess the organic farming potential of litchi in 1,000 hectare area in north Bihar. Nafed, in collaboration with IPL, will arrange export market for litchi to give more remunerative prices to farmers, said the agriculture specialist, project planning committee, state agriculture department, Anil Kumar Jha.     

NZ minister issues warning to Australia over apple imports

Aug 19, 2011

The Federal Opposition has brushed off warnings from the New Zealand Government that Australia's trade reputation could be damaged if apple imports are blocked. The Coalition will introduce a bill to the lower house next week, giving Federal Parliament the power to disallow apple import permits.     

Bananas in Cooled Ingersoll Trucks Help India Cut Food Waste

Aug 17, 2011

About a third of Ayannan Karuppaiah’s 75-ton banana crop used to rot before it reached the market about 300 miles (480 kilometers) away in Chennai, India. Now, his fruit is eaten in the Middle East. Karuppaiah transformed his business after buying a refrigerated truck from Ingersoll-Rand Plc two years ago. The vehicle, modified to handle narrow roads and temperatures that can reach about 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit), enabled Karuppaiah to get his bananas blemish-free to Bangalore and Chennai, where he sells them wholesale for export to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.     

India: Euro Fruits organise technical workshop

Aug 12, 2011

Euro Fruits, India is a company which thrives on disseminating knowledge to its grape growers. In continuation to this effort, the company organized a Technical Workshop for their farmers and their farm managers. This workshop took place in Nashik, the grape capital of India on Wednesday 10th of August, 2011. India's prominent Scientists/ Agronomists from NRC Grapes (National Research Centre for Grapes) were the guest speakers for this workshop.     

EU: "The whole banana market turned upsidedown"

Aug 11, 2011

The banana market collapsed two months ago. At the moment bananas are being sold for as little as 1 to 3 dollars (FOB) in Ecuador. According to Ron van Viegen (Fyffes) and Hans Borgers (Borgers Bananas) the collapsed market is the result of a combination of factors, but the banana market has also suffered due to the EHEC-outbreak. The importers speak of heavy losses, but expect a careful revival in two or three weeks. Ron van Viegen blames the bad banana prices in Europe partially on overproduction. "Equador is where the real spot prices (?) are being made. Since the EU import licences on the bananas were abolished, more players have entered the market who have started importing by themselves due to the increased supply of container transport.     

AU: Citrus exporters fear losing US market

Aug 11, 2011

Australia's citrus sales to the United States have halved this year and the industry's peak body fears growers will lose that major market. Citrus Australia says exports have been slack throughout 2011 and the historic downgrading of the US credit rating could mean that bad luck will extend beyond this year. Chief executive Judith Damiani says the global economic uncertainty is worrying for the citrus industry. "The United States has been a very important market for many years for our citrus," he said.     

India: Kay Bee Exports set to offer top quality Pomegranates from India

Aug 10, 2011

Kay Bee Exports, India’s leading fresh fruits and vegetable exporter, has started shipping Global-GAP certified Pomegranates from its newly built state-of-the-art pomegranate handling facility in Maharashtra. Kay Bee Exports has its own Global GAP certified farming operations in Ahmednagar district of the state of Maharashtra. Bulk of its pomegranates for summer come from this farm but it has also contracted production with a few partner-growers. A lot of care is taken in growing the Pomegranates in a safe and environmentally-friendly way.     

Himachal Horticulture Minister called on Union Agriculture Minister

Aug 09, 2011

A National-level conference on the distinct problems of the apple producing states of North Western Himalayan States would be organised in last week of September next, said Narinder Bragta, Horticulture Minister after meeting with Union Agriculture Minister at New Delhi today. He said that Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar has agreed to be Chief Guest in the conference and the Horticulture Ministers of the North Western States, agricultural scientists , fruit growers and the agriculture seed and pesticides companies and other stakeholders would actively participate in the function.     

Kashmir Apple Be Designated Spl Product: Minister

Aug 05, 2011

Minister for Horticulture and Floriculture, Sham Lal Sharma today called on with Union Minister of Agriculture, Sharad Pawar and discussed various issues pertaining to the food growers and traders of Jammu& Kashmir. During half an hour meeting with the Union Agriculture Minister, Sham Lal raised the issues regarding enhancement of import duty on apple in order to make the domestic product of apple to compete with the imported apple from different countries. He also conveyed the growers demand that apple be designated as a special product so that the fruit growers of the State get better return of their produce.     

Kazakhstan keeping on increasing fruit imports

Aug 04, 2011

According to Fruit-Inform Project, Kazakhstan keeps on dynamically increasing fruit imports and becomes more and more attractive target market for international suppliers. Kazakhstan's fruit imports grew 7 times over last 5 years. This shows a dynamical growth of Kazakhs' demand for fruits and domestic growers' unreadiness to satisfy such a demand. Increase in demand is a result of changes in Kazakhs' diet, as they traditionally preferred meat and products of animal origin. However, with global prices for grains and meat foods growing, Kazakhstan's logistics improving, trade developing and supply of cheap fruits in the domestic market increasing, consumption of them began to show dynamic growth rates.     

Pakistan: High demand in Ramazan to spike fruit rates by 30pc: wholesaler

Jul 25, 2011

The prices of fruits are likely to increase by 30 percent in Ramazan, while vegetable rates are expected to remain stable, a representative of the fruit and vegetable dealers told The News on Saturday. “The supply of the fruits to the markets increases by 100 percent in Ramazan, but the demand tends to outstrip the supply during the month of fasting,” the Welfare Association of Wholesale Vegetable Market President Haji Shah Jehan said. People prefer to have fresh fruits at iftar - the time to open the fast, which creates a seasonal demand surge each year, he said.     

AU: Fruit and vegetables lead 1.4% food-price rise in June

Jul 18, 2011

Fruit and vegetable prices are up 12% in a month and the Queensland floods are being blamed for a large increase in the cost of many imported staples. The latest Statistics New Zealand Food Price Index shows food prices were up 1.4% in one month, led by a 12.2% increase in the fruit and vegetables subgroup. Statistics New Zealand said the sharp rise in the cost of fruit and vegetables was led by a rise in the cost of tomatoes (56.9%), capsicums (43.7%) and cucumber (35.6%). Lettuce also experienced a 42.7% seasonal increase following a 45.6% increase in May.     

Monthly banana consumption for the first time ever exceeded 110 thousand tonnes in Russia

Jul 11, 2011

According to Fruit-Inform Project's estimates, average monthly banana consumption for the first time ever exceeded 110 thousand tonnes in Russia in the first half of 2011. In comparison with last year, banana consumption increased by 22%. “Russia has never before imported so many bananas as in the first half of 2011. However, notwithstanding many suppliers connecting such a growth with the economical stabilization and growth of household income, increase in banana imports is seen predominantly due to high apple prices in Russia and decrease in the supply of traditional vegetables”, Tetiana Getman, Head of Fruit-Inform Project, states.     

Fruit and vegetable prices in Ukraine much higher than last year

Jul 08, 2011

Fruit-Inform Project's fruit and vegetable index shows that in June 2011 fruit and vegetable prices in Ukraine were 36.3% higher than in the same month of last year. If compare prices with June 2009, then they were 82.8% higher. The most significant year-on-year growth of prices was registered for borsch vegetables (onions, cabbage, beets, carrots) and potatoes. Aggregate year-on-year growth of prices for these five categories amounted to 47% in June 2011. However, onion, cabbage and beet prices were lower than in June 2010, and the most important part in aggregate growth of prices for borsch vegetables and potatoes was played by the latter as they went up in price by 77%.     

India: Shipping apple boxes to cost more from Himachal

Jul 07, 2011

Transporting an apple box in the upcoming apple harvest will cost around 20 per cent more from Himachal Pradesh to markets across India due to the recent hike in diesel prices. This decision has been taken after a meeting between the state government officials and the state truck operators union in Shimla. The over three month long harvest will start by the middle of July.Due to the huge demand trucks come in from across northern India to transport the fruit to markets all over India. It will now cost Rs 63 to transport a 22 kg apple box from Rohru a popular apple growing area to Delhi.While it will cost Rs 53 from Kotkhai to Delhi, an official of the state government said.     

Apple consumption sharply reduced in Russia

Jul 07, 2011

According to Fruit-Inform Project's estimates, in the season 2010/11 the fresh apple consumption in the Russian Federation was the lowest over last 3 seasons. This is caused by high apple prices in the world and sharp decrease of the domestic apple production in Russia.     

India: Himachal seeks central help to promote apple

Jul 06, 2011

Himachal Pradesh asked a visiting parliamentary committee to help the state in improving infrastructure for smooth transportation and marketing of apples – the main fruit crop of the state. ‘Forty percent of apples being produced in the country are from the hill state but due to lack of infrastructure facilities, the apple growers are not getting remunerative prices,’ Chief Secretary Rajwant Sandhu told the parliamentary standing committee on commerce here. The state recorded a bumper production of 44.5 million boxes of 20 kg-weight in 2010-11.     

Russia imports 57% less duch pears in january up to and including april 2011

Jul 06, 2011

In the period January to April 2011 70 million kilos of Dutch pears were exported, 30% less than in 2010. Especially Russia (-57%) imported less Dutch pears in 2011. The export to Germany (+2%) increased slightly, but was lower in March and April compared to last year. All other important markets imported less Dutch pears than in 2010.     

Japan's apple exports to Taiwan fall to less than a ton in May

Jul 05, 2011

Japan's apple exports to Taiwan, which have been on the decline due to a stronger yen and the nuclear disaster in northeastern Japan, fell to less than a ton in May, causing concern among apple farmers amid uncertainty over when the nuclear crisis will be resolved. Japanese-grown apples had been popular among wealthy Taiwanese, selling for around the equivalent of 300 to 400 yen each, about double that of apples from the United States and Chile. According to the Japanese Finance Ministry's preliminary trade statistics, apple exports to Taiwan in March more than doubled from the previous year to 1,381 tons, partly due to rush demand sparked by fears of a supply shortage just after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.     

Himachal seeks central help to promote apple

Jul 01, 2011

Himachal Pradesh Thursday asked a visiting parliamentary committee to help the state in improving infrastructure for smooth transportation and marketing of apples – the main fruit crop of the state. ‘Forty percent of apples being produced in the country are from the hill state but due to lack of infrastructure facilities, the apple growers are not getting remunerative prices,’ Chief Secretary Rajwant Sandhu told the parliamentary standing committee on commerce here. The state recorded a bumper production of 44.5 million boxes of 20 kg-weight in 2010-11.     

Spain: Huelva strawberry production drops by 12% due to bad weather

Jul 01, 2011

The production from the last strawberry season, which is about to end, dropped by 12% regarding the campaign of 2009-10, going from 285,000 tons and 252,237 tons, despite good quality and good prices, as Europapress indicated. The Vice-counsellor for Agriculture and Fishing, Juan Ignacio Serrano, pointed out yesterday, after a meeting with representatives of the fruits and vegetables sector in Huelva, that despite a drop in production, the campaign was marked by the "high quality" of fruit. According to Serrano, "there were no problems with diseases or size" and markets had "a good acceptance for the new varieties".     

India: Litchi production more by over 60%

Jun 30, 2011

According to the preliminary estimates, litchi production in Bihar, that grows 60 percent of the country's litchi production, has gone up by 50 percent to 60 percent over the previous year. "Due to very favourable climatic conditions coupled with intermittent rainfall, litchi production was record high this year," said Dr Vishal Nath , director, National Research Centre for Litchi , Muzafarrpur. Rajesh Pardeshi, Pune-based litchi trader said, "Litchi arrivals in Pune have doubled this year as compared to the previous year. The fruit is available for Rs 40-60/kg in the wholesale market."     

Pakistan: High-priced lychee only for the rich

Jun 28, 2011

Delicious and juicy lychee which heralds the arrival of summer, is out of reach of the poor as it is being sold at exorbitant rates in twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad. Lychee, like citrus fruits, is an excellent source of vitamin C, but unlike it, this summer fruit is beyond the reach of common man and is available in markets at high price of Rs 240-300 /kg. Ahmad, who was buying mangoes from Abpara market said “Lychees are not only eye-catching in summer but are beneficial for health also. Unfortunately, we cannot afford to buy this delicious and colourful fruit due to its high price”. Lychee fruits are low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol, but rich in dietary fiber, which, can be very important for individuals who are concerned about their excess body weight.     

Food inflation climbs to 9.13% on dearer fruit, milk & onion

Jun 24, 2011

Costlier fruit, milk and onion helped push India’s food inflation for the week ended June 11 to 9.13% from the previous week’s figure of 8.96. Analysts attribute the fluctuation in the food price levels to the lack of a long-term policy on key agricultural crops and dairy industry.     

Fruit and vegetable prices decreasing in Ukraine for the 5th week in a row

Jun 21, 2011

Fruit-Inform Project's fruit and vegetable index shows that fruit and vegetable prices again decreased in Ukraine last week. Moreover, the price decrease rate accelerated and amounted to 5.9%. Over five weeks fruit and vegetable prices have decreased by almost 16% in Ukraine. “We should note that the fruit and vegetable price reduction currently observed in the country could have been even more significant if not for unfavorable weather conditions supporting the market”, Andriy Yarmak, Head of Fruit-Inform Project, states. “Late spring led to the early vegetable supply to be 2-3 weeks later, and drought in May-June favored a decrease in the potential of the early vegetable yields”, the expert continues.     

US: Banana fungus threatens world crop

Jun 21, 2011

Bananas are one of the most purchased items in American grocery stores, so an increase in price is going to affect the pocketbooks of most of us. Unfortunately, we’re looking at just such an increase thanks to threats to growth, both short and long-term. In the short term, heavy rains and cold temperatures have wiped some of Central America’s banana crop, and companies such as Dole are raising their prices accordingly. The higher price of oil is also a factor, as shipping costs have increased. Expect bananaflation to keep the price of America’s favorite fruit at $1 a pound or more through the summer.     

International Trade Fair for fruit and vegetable marketing in Asia

Jun 15, 2011

Over 300 exhibitors from all five continents are expected at ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA 2011 ready to do business. Hong Kong, 14 June 2011: Source the best new products from key fresh produce suppliers in the fruitful Asian market at ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA Book your ticket online and save 25 per cent! ASIA FRUIT LOGISTICA, held on 7-9 September at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong, is world-renowned for the quality of visitors it attracts and business opportunities it creates. Join over 4,000 buyers from over 50 countries looking to improve their business and make high-quality and long-lasting new contacts in the world’s most vital growth market.     

India: Lack of proper marketing hits litchi traders

Jun 14, 2011

The prices of litchi have alarmingly slumped here in the absence of a proper market network amidst a bumper production resulting in a heavy loss to the growers and traders. According to one of the biggest litchi orchard owners of Muzaffarpur district, Bholanath Jha, the growers have been forced to sell their fruit in the orchards at the rate of only Rs 7 to Rs 8 per kg in retail whereas it is being sold at Rs 125 to Rs 150 in Delhi, Rs 150 in Mumbai and Rs 200 per kg in Chennai. However, four entrepreneurs running litchi processing plants have offered Rs 22 per kg to the growers.     

India: Govt gives Rs 34 cr for payment to apple growers under MIS

Jun 10, 2011

Under attack from opposition for not releasing the payments of apple growers for apple purchased under Market Intervention scheme (MIS), the Himachal Pradesh government today released a sum of Rs 34 crore for clearing the payments of the growers. The government provided Rs 34 crore to Himfed and HPMC, the main procurement agencies to clear the payments of apple growers for the apple procured under MIS.     

Spain leads world strawberries market

Jun 09, 2011

During the past five years the Spanish strawberry has filled international markets. In 2010, the sector's turnover was 396.7 million euros in exports. In the world there are more than a thousand varieties of strawberries, but the ones which have the Spanish label are the leaders in global exports. The Spanish name has positioned itself as a world-class fruit in markets in five continents. Spain, since 2007, is the world's leading exporter of this fruit and second in production, only behind of the United States.     

Mexico could increase fruit and vegetables exports to EU

May 31, 2011

Exports of Mexican fruit and vegetables to Europe exceeded US$68 million last year, a figure that could increase if producers improve their presentation, said the expert Manuel Alonso Báez. In the XI Forum of Expectations of Agri-Food and Fisheries, the expert from the Center for Food Research and Development explained that fruits whose sales could grow to that continent are those of tropical origin, such as mango, guava and papaya.     

Costa Rica: Pineapple exports to U.K. and U.S. grow

May 31, 2011

Higher sales to the U.K. were seen with US$17 million and to the U.S. with US$3.8 million, decreasing melon shipments.Costa Rica exports reached in the first four months of 2011, US$3,352.1 million, 5.2% more than the US$3,184.8 recorded in the same period of 2010, said today an official source. The three main sectors of production, livestock and fisheries, agriculture and industry, "grew in the first four months of 2011 at rates of 10.4%, 7.5% and 4.3%, respectively", explained in a press conference the Foreign Trade Minister, Anabel González.     

AU: Banana price could rise further

May 27, 2011

Supply of bananas to the market is set to decrease even further as long as a cold snap continues on the Atherton Tablelands and northern NSW - the two main supply areas following Cyclone Yasi. Australian Banana Growers' Council (ABGC) chief executive officer Jonathan Eccles said wholesale prices had reached highs of $130/box, but could potentially rise higher in the next couple of months. Mr Eccles said the worst cyclone-affected growing region, the Cassowary Coast, should begin to return to normal supply in early August. Mr Eccles said the return to full production in Australia's largest growing region had been hampered by, initially, weeks of continued wet weather following Cyclone Yasi and, more recently, cold weather.     

India: Proper marketing of jackfruit can raise its value

May 26, 2011

The jackfruit (Artocarpus hetrofilly), which can be a crop grown for additional income, has been sidelined due to lack of marketing knowledge and innovation in making it a value added product. The district horticulture department organized a workshop, exhibition-cum-sale of different varieties of jackfruit which are locally available, to educate farmers on the various uses of the protein and vitamin-rich fruit as a food item.     

Bumper litchi output likely in East Champaran

May 24, 2011

Hailstorms accompanied by heavy rain during the last three weeks notwithstanding, the East Champaran district is expecting bumper litchi fruits this season. Although this year mango trees bore little fruits due to a lean year, the loss is likely to be compensated with bumper juicy Shahi, China and Bedana litchis and its plucking will start from Tuesday. Hundreds of litchi dealers from Delhi, Kolkata, Lucknow, Varanasi, Nepal and other places are camping at Motihari.     

Kashmiri apple expects great demand

May 23, 2011

With inclement weather casting gloom on apple production in Himachal Pradesh, the Kashmiri fruit this year is expected to sell at good prices in Indian markets. Himachal Pradesh this March received heavy snowfall. According to sources over 50 per cent fruit bearing trees in the major apple cultivating areas in the state suffered loss. Experts said the apple production in Himachal, the second biggest apple producer in India after J&K, has a direct bearing on the market of Kashmir apple.     

Four districts begin to reap fruits of development seminar

May 23, 2011

With most of the recommendations adopted during the development seminars organised jointly by Ministries of Home Affairs and DoNER in four districts of the State namely Bishnupur, Imphal East, Ukhrul and Senapati, being implemented, people have started reaping its benefits. In the development seminars conducted during 2009 and 2010, and participated by Union Home Secretary GK Pillai himself, numerous recommendations were adopted for initiating development activities in various sectors including health, education, water supply, road transport, communication, agriculture, banking, etc and the Home Ministry has been keeping a close watch to ensure implementation of these recommendations.     

Malaysia: Produce more durians to meet China demand, farmers told

May 20, 2011

More farmers have been urged to plant durian trees to meet the high demand once the fruit is exported to China. Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Chua Tee Yong said the prospect for the industry was very good as Malaysian durian was expected to be in high demand there compared with Thai durian. He said many durian farmers had pulled out of the industry in the past few years due to poor distribution channels and low demand.     

Lychees 'take flight',prices to follow suit

May 16, 2011

According to lychee exporters, erratic railway schedules had been having a deleterious impact on the quality of the fruit. When the trains would finally reach Mumbai after inordinate delays, the stocks would have rotten. "The railway system of Bengal has taken a severe beating due to the frequent attacks on its trains by naxals. Delays would cause the stocks to go bad. Ultimately, the exporters decided to convey the fruits via flight. Needless to say, this is a costly affair, as a result of which prices have increased by almost 75 per cent," said Harish Vasandhani, a trader from Mumbai.     

India: Managing papaya mealybug through bio control

May 13, 2011

Outbreak of papaya mealy bug, Paracoccus marginatus was noticed during 2008 on papaya, mulberry, tapioca, jatropha, vegetables, fruits, cotton, plantation crops, spices and flowers crops in different parts of Tamil Nadu causing extensive damage upto 90 per cent. Three parasitoids Acerophagus papayae, Anagyrus loecki and Pseudleptomastix mexicana were imported through NBAII (National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects) from US.     

Malta: Volume of fresh fruit & veg down but wholesale value up

May 12, 2011

In the first quarter this year, the volume of fresh fruit and vegetables passing through the official markets declined by 10.5 per cent, while the wholesale value increased by 17.2 per cent compared to the corresponding quarter last year. Fresh fruit and vegetable supplies for the first quarter of 2011 dropped to 10.1 million kilograms, from 11.2 million kilograms in the first quarter last year. The wholesale value rose by 17.2 per cent, amounting to €5.2 million. The volume of fresh vegetables fell by 12.0 per cent to 9.5 million kilograms over the comparative period last year. Declines were registered in the supply of Tomatoes (-26.3 per cent), Cauliflowers (-17.1 per cent), and Vegetable marrows (-9.9 per cent). In contrast, the wholesale value of fresh vegetables advanced by 21.3 per cent to €4.48 million in the first three months of 2011.     

White cabbage shortage developed Ukrainians' taste for lettuce

May 11, 2011

According to Fruit-Inform Project, the current season's white cabbage shortage made Ukrainians pay attention to possible alternatives to this product such as leaf and head lettuce, potherbs, and Chinese cabbage. As a result, Ukraine's imports of leaf and head lettuce increased more than 2 times in the first quarter of 2011, and cumulative imports in the first 10 months of the season 2010/11 showed year-on-year growth of 80%. Moreover, this was a record imported volume over all history of independent Ukraine.     

Philippines Limits Imports Of Plants, Fruits, Vegetables From Japan

May 06, 2011

he Philippine government has banned the importation of planting materials and plant products such as fruits and vegetables from six prefectures considered to be affected by radiation in Japan, an official said Wednesday.Based on the assessment of the Bureau of Plant Industry, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that there may be risk of increased levels of radiation-contamination of plants, planting materials and plant products in Japan, reported China's Xinhua news agency.Alcala said the government is temporarily suspending the issuance of plant quarantine clearance for the importation of plants, planting materials, and plant products such as fruits and vegetables from the prefectures of Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma, Iwata, and Miyagi was temporarily suspended.     

Pineapple from Muxungue, Mozambique certified for export to Europe

May 06, 2011

Pineapple producers from Muxungu district in Mozambique's Sofala province, have received the international certificate that allows them to export their produce to the regional and European markets, said that provincial director for Industry and Trade. Cited by Mozambican daily newspaper Not acias Jos Ferreira said that the certificate was the culmination of a process carried out by German company BCS OEKO-Garantir GmbH, which concluded that Muxungu pineapple had all the basic conditions for international certification.     

Spain: Germany strong citrus buyer

May 04, 2011

The citrus sector of Almeria sold 6,384 tons to external markets, between January and February this year. Some 26.5% more than last year. In the first two months of the year, the citrus companies of Almeria carried out 160 commercial operations, with what they've sent almost 6,400 tons of products, but mainly orange. This amount means that 26.5% more product than in the same period of last year was sold, as the delegate for the Council of Agriculture and Fishing, Juan Deus, highlighted in the data from the Spanish Institute of External Commerce.     

India: Now, mobile machine for kinnow grading in Punjab

May 03, 2011

Kinnow is now a major cash crop in Punjab, grown across thousands of acres in Abohar, Fazilka, Muktsar, Bathinda, Hoshiarpur and adjoining areas. The juicy fruit has robust markets in metros across the country and its waxing, polishing and grading are high priority for the growers — since this significantly increases the marketability of the fruit. While both Punjab and Haryana governments have opened expensive kinnow grading centres, a grower in Bathinda has developed a mobile kinnow grading machine. His effort has ensured that instead of truckloads of the produce going to the centres for washing, waxing, drying and grading, the machine itself comes to the farm for all these jobs.     

India: Allahabadi watermelons tickle taste buds in Nepal, Bhuta

May 02, 2011

First it was the Allahabadi guava which put the city on world map with its mouth-watering taste. And now, the local variety of watermelon is tickling the taste buds of fruit lovers in countries like Nepal and Bhutan. Consignments worth several lakhs have already been sent from here to these countries in the wake of high demand. Allahabadi watermelon, Madhuri 64, is a hybrid variety of watermelon cultivated in Andhra Pradesh. The belt along the Ganga from Phaphamau onwards is the hub of watermelon farming. Places like Dafri, Kulesarghat and Puramufti in Kaushambi are the major hub of watermelon cultivation.     

Israeli pomegranate juice hits the market

Apr 26, 2011

Moshel starts importing 'super-premium' 100 per cent pure pomegranate juice from Galilee Mountains of Israel.Rimon, a pure, not-from-concentrate pomegranate juice from Israel, is now available in the UK.The product comes in 275ml glass bottles with an RRP of £3.99 (€4.52) and will not be offered to multiple grocers, only independent wholesalers and retailers.     

Apple price hike leads to sharp increase in citrus and banana consumption in Ukraine

Apr 25, 2011

According to analysts of Fruit-Inform Project, apple price hike during first months of 2011 led to increase of consumer demand for imported citrus and bananas. “Our estimates show that in January-March 2011 banana, orange, and mandarin consumption grew by 35-45% that approximately corresponds to decrease percentage in apple consumption”,     

Bad weather hits 15% orange crop in Nagpur

Apr 25, 2011

Known for its rich taste world over, the Nagpur santara (orange) is likely to be in short supply this year as about 15 per cent of the fruit crop has been damaged due to rising heat and untimely hailstorm. "Rising heat in the month of March and off season hailstorm recently has damaged about 15 per cent of the orange in and around Nagpur," V J Shivankar, Director of National Research Centre for Citrus (NRCC)-- an arm of Indian Council of Agricultural Research-- said over phone. Citrus crops (Neebu, Moushami and Orange) is grown in about 1.5 lakh hectare areas in and around Nagpur. The hailstorm caused fruits, still in the nascent stage, to fall off and caused black patches on those left on the trees.     

Banana market situation in Europe

Apr 20, 2011

During the first quarter of 2011 the European banana market has fluctuated. At the beginning of the year the market situation was quite favorable because of the fact that there were short volumes from the Caribbean, which was given by several factors. In the first instance, the Antilles were hit late last year by Hurricane Thomas. At the same time, there was a wave of cold that limited exports from countries like Colombia and Suriname. With less fruit on the European market, a situation of low supply was created which led to a rise in prices. Since Ecuador's production began to increase and the effect of Hurricane was dimmed, the situation became a bit more complicated in the European market; because markets such as Libya and Tunisia were affected by internal political and social problems. The banana containers that were going to these countries had to be shipped to European ports.     

Spain: Citrus exports damaged by the cold wave

Apr 20, 2011

The Spanish orange consumption fell by 25% in the EU because the rejection effect and AVA-Asaja claims "exemplary punishment". The situation of lethargy and low prices that characterize the 2010/2011 citrus season, whose harvest is almost complete, is produced in a season that will be remembered for record exports but also for recording the largest frost of the decade in the Valencian countryside. According to data from Agroseguro, 64.97% of the orange area of the Comunitat Valenciana (about 40,000 plots) has been damaged by freezing temperatures; an even higher percentage that that experienced during the devastating adverse weather of 2005, when frost devastated 63.70% of the territory, but only extended to 20,000 plots, about half that now.     

Shipment of Philippines bananas to Japan increases after quake

Apr 19, 2011

Philippine bananas are providing sustenance to the quake and tsunami victims in Japan, agriculture department and industry official. Roberto Amores, president of the Philippine Food Processors and Exporters Organization, Inc., said the country's bananas and high-value vegetables continued to be in high demand in Japan, which was struck by a devastating earthquake and tidal waves on March 11. The country is also in the middle of a nuclear crisis after a nuclear power plant in Fukushima was damaged by the tsunami. The Fukushima nuclear accident is considered one of the worst nuclear accidents in the world. In an interview with the Inquirer on Thursday, Amores said the country's Class A and Class B banana shipments to Japan increased after the March 11 catastrophes. “That is why we don't have much bananas here. All the Class A and B are going there,” he said.     

S.Korea: Domestic fruit sales bitten by cheaper imports

Apr 19, 2011

Domestically-grown fruits are having a hard time competing in the Korean market as their prices have surged amid a poor harvest due to unusually cold weather. Imported fruits are taking their places thanks to relatively low prices, which have remained at a similar level as last year. Large retailers are seeing imported fruits edge out Korean produce to become best-sellers. At E-Mart, sales of mango have risen 349 percent and grapefruit 79.5 percent compared to a year ago, leading sales growth among imported fruits.     

US become the main market for cherry exports: Argentina

Apr 18, 2011

The total registered volume of cherry from the Protected Region of Patagonia during the 2010/2011 campaign reached the 4,198 tons, according to information from the Statistics Technical Area of the Foundation "Barrera Zoofitosanitaria Patagónica" (FunBaPa). Of that number, 44.3% were destined for export, while the remaining 55.7% stayed for internal consumption. Some 60% of the total was produced in December, while 21.3% was produced in January, 16.2% in February and 2.5% in March. As for the exported product, the US, that started importing cherry from Patagonia after the region was declared as a Fruit Fly Free Zone, is the main market, taking 471 tons.     

Thai fruit exporters thriving in Japan

Apr 18, 2011

Thai fruit exports to Japan are enjoying bright prospects amid rising demand and a better knowledge of consumption and cooking methods. Thailand this year will also begin exporting fresh pineapples under the duty-free quota of the Japan-Thailand Economic Partnership Agreement (JTEPA). Pimjai Matsumoto, the managing director of P&E Techno Co, a leading mango exporter to Japan, said her company had spent 60 million baht to install a vapour heat-treatment facility at Kasetsart University to control mango quality prior to export. The facility is operated around the clock to supply mangoes to department stores in Japan. P&E expects to export 800 to 1,000 tonnes of fresh mangoes to Japan this year, up from 500 tonnes last year, initially receiving a large order from the Aeon Department Store group.     

Chile’s fruit industry hits back after Australian grape industry attack

Apr 15, 2011

Representatives of the Chilean and U.S. fruit industries have spoken out against comments made by Australian Table Grape Association CEO Jeff Scott, who asked consumers to show ‘Chilean imposters the door’ when it came to grape imports from the South American country. Chilean-based Fedefruta president Antonio Walker told Scott’s reaction to new Chilean grape arrivals was ‘typical’ for someone who had been alone in the market and did not want any competition. “If you want protection from imports from the rest of the world, it would be consistent then that you agree not to export – I would recommend you see the advantages; when competition arrives one is obliged to improve quality and performance, and reduce costs, among other things,” he said. “We are in a globalized world of free trade and must be willing to get competition.”     

India's litchi production likely to rise by 15%

Apr 14, 2011

Consumers of litchi will have it good this year as production of the important sub-tropical evergreen fruit is expected to see a rise by about 15% during the period on back of favourable climatic condition.Grown in 71,878 hectares of land across the country, 423 tonnes of litchi was produced in India last year, according to National Horticulture Board (NHB), set up by the central government in 1984 as an autonomous society. "The recent mild rainfall and balanced temperature will result in an increase of litchi production by about 15% this year," National Research Centre (NRC) for Litchi Director Vishal Nath said. Set up in 2001, NRC is an arm of ICAR (Indian Council for Agricultural Research).     

India: Pomegranate production, exports hit by blight

Apr 14, 2011

Pomegranate production in the state and its exports to Europe have consistently gone down during the last two years due to the incidence of a disease called bacterial blight. However, better export prices due to the shortage of the fruit in the market have resulted in higher realisation. About 60-70 per cent of the country's pomegranate exports are from Maharashtra. In 2007-08, 35,000 metric tonnes of the fruit was exported from the country, while the figure went down to 34,800 metric tonnes in 2008-2009, and further dropped to 33,400 metric tonnes in 2009-2010. Statistics from the National Research Centre on Pomegranates (NRCP), under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, in Solapur, say that the state produced a total of 5.96 lakh metric tonnes of pomegranate in 2007-08, 5.5 lakh metric tonnes in 2008-2009 and 5.55 lakh metric tonnes in 2009-2010.     

Argentina: Makes first export of pomegranates to Europe

Apr 13, 2011

The first boxes of a total of 15,000 planned for its first commercial harvest of the Wonderful variety pomegranates by the company "Granada de los Andes", were sent. This first harvest grew in 67 hectares in "Campo Grande del Acequión", which were planted in 2008. This states that the cultivation of this species in San Juan is a very valid alternative with suitable soils and climates and with few pests and diseases affecting them, and with a very good production not only for the fresh fruit market but also for juice concentrate industry. "We expect an average harvest of 1,500 kilos per hectare with selected fruit ranging from 6 to 12 units per box of 4 kilos each. The fruit weight ranges from 250 to 700 grams", said Ricardo Caputo, a partner at the agronomic consulting firm "Caputo y Coralli Asociados" who advises the Argentine-owned.     

Ecuador: "EU tariff system makes banana prices volatile"

Apr 13, 2011

The change from the quotas system to the tariff system for the purchase of bananas in Europe raises concerns in that market because the price of fruit has become volatile and there is no solution yet, according to Carolina Dawson, an analyst of the International Agricultural Research Center for Development, based in France. Dawson, who took part yesterday in the sixth conference of the International Banana Forum, explained that this phenomenon has been on going since 2006 when the system was replaced. One of the objectives of the change was to help increase Latin American bananas presence in the European markets, so that the participation of Latin American fruit would pass from 63% to 71%. However, the issue generates concern, as it allows non-market problems to affect the price.     

Russia lowered apple imports in the first months of 2011

Apr 13, 2011

Analysts of Fruit-Inform Project report of the considerable decrease of apple imports in Russia in the first months of 2011. Apple imports in January and February 2011 were 7.3% lower than in the same months of 2010. “Russia lowered apple imports due to growth of prices being sharper than in the last season, and overall shortage of high-quality apples in Poland and EU”, Andriy Yarmak, Head of Fruit-Inform Project, says. “However, decrease of apple imports was compensated by growth of imports of bananas, oranges, and mandarins which grew by 7%, 26%, and 14% respectively over 2 first months of 2011”, the expert goes on.     

Peru: Grape, mango and asparagus exports to the U.S. and Netherlands grew

Apr 12, 2011

Of a total of 113 countries where Peruvian agricultural products arrived, the United States (27%) and Netherlands (13%) were the main destinations of agricultural exports, followed by Spain (7%) and Colombia (4%). The United States purchased agricultural products for US$149 million, increasing its purchases by 22.2% (+US$27 million) compared with the first two months of 2010; where fresh mangoes, grapes, fresh and prepared asparagus, among others stood out.     

Spain: Russia returns oranges from Valencia due to low quality

Apr 11, 2011

A ship with several containers filled with oranges and mandarins from Valencia is in Russia, waiting to unload or go back, after importers,refused it, saying that there were excessive percentages of frozen fruit and other quality deficiencies. The exporters are several companies from Valencia, but it not known which companies are involved. Yesterday, the Valencia Farmers Association (AVA-Asaja) regretted once more that frozen fruits were exported and underlined that it's because of things like this that demand is below minimum, since the consumer is discouraged by the marketing fruit of deficient quality.     

Costa Rica banana exports fall below 2010 expectations

Apr 08, 2011

Costa Rica’s banana exports fell to US$109 million in January and February, compared to a result of US$123 million in the same period last year. The data was released by the Central American country’s Foreign Trade Promotion office, explaining the 2010 result was a recovery from poor 2009 figures of US$96 million. National Banana Corporation (Corbana) general manager Jorge Sauma, told the recent result was due to the effects of Caribbean weather conditions.     

Ukraine: 13% growth of fruit and veg prices in March

Apr 06, 2011

Fruit-Inform Project's fruit and vegetable index shows that Ukraine's fruit and vegetable inflation has reached 13% in March. This means that in March a Ukrainian consumer had to pay 13% more than in February for the same assortment of fruits and vegetables. If to compare prices in March of this year with prices in March 2010, then now a consumer has to overpay 43%! "Fruit and vegetable price growth was caused by increase of prices for traditional vegetables, as demand for them had grown due to the beginning of fasting. At the same time, there was no expected growth of supply of these vegetables, and high-quality produce was actively exported to Russia that negatively affected the Ukrainian market.     

Maersk build and operate pier in Peru’s port

Apr 06, 2011

The world’s largest container shipping line, Moeller-Maersk A/S, won a contract to build and operate a 1.1 billion US dollars pier at Peru’s largest port, the government announced in Lima. Copenhagen-based Maersk’s APM Terminals unit beat out Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. by offering a bigger discount for services at the Muelle Norte pier at the Callao port, state investment promotion agency Proinversion said at a ceremony in Lima.     

South African citrus sets sail for Europe

Apr 01, 2011

The South African citrus harvest is under way with the first shipments of satsumas already on the water. Cronje Scheepers from Cape Citrus said the harvesting of satsumas has started from the Eastern Cape already and from the Western Cape it started in week 12. "The internal quality and volume is good although sizes from Western Cape are a bit smaller than usual for Satsumas. The brix level is good at 10.2 with good ratio also."     

Opportunities for fruit in Ukraine

Mar 29, 2011

The export to Ukraine especially for apples could grow substantially. At the moment about 2% of the imported apples comes from the Netherlands. That expectation came from Herman Bus of NFO during a member meeting of ZLTO/NFO department Fruitteelt. The meeting was held in Bergen op Zoom yesterday evening. Bus discussed with the growers, who were present, the production circumstances in Ukraine and Moldavia. Both countries have a good climate for growing apples.700 million kgs is harvested annually in Ukraine, of which 250 million kgs is for the fresh market. In Moldavia 300 million kgs is produced, of which 150 million kgs is for the fresh market.     

Revival on banana market expected after small price decrease

Mar 29, 2011

After the towering banana prices at the beginning of the year this month showed a slight decrease in prices. "The price of yellow bananas is now round 15/16 euro, the green bananas are 14,50/15 euro" Hans Borgers tells. The banana trader expects that the market will improve somewhat during the coming period. "The developments in the Mediterranean area did have some influence on the supply of bananas. Because of that more bananas came to Europe. During the previous years prices often increased in March, now we have had a sight decrease, The situation is now a little better under control again."     

Rs 11.5 crore sanctioned for controlled atmospheric apple storage facility

Mar 28, 2011

The prosperous apple belts of the state, Jubbal-Kotkhai and Kotgarh in Shimla district, are set to get a major boost in controlled-atmospheric storage of apples, with the Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) sanctioning Rs 11.5 crore for the project. APEDA is a body under the Ministry of Commerce and Industries. Each of the controlled-atmospheric stores have also been given the facility of one refrigerated van each to carry the produce to markets.     

Kashmir produces 14 lakh MT apple in 2009-2010

Mar 24, 2011

Minister for Horticulture Sham Lal Sharma has said the government has approved establishment of four cold stores under RKVY in the State. “The report from APEDA engaged for conducting a techno economic feasibility study for setting up of a cold storage chain in the state has been received,” he added. Giving details of apple production for last two years, the Minister said the total production of apples in the State during the year 2008-09 was 13.32 MTs, out of which 6.83 lakh MTs were exported outside the State. Similarly, in 2009-10 the production of apples was 13.73 lakh MTs, out of which 7.50 lakh MTs were exported outside the State.     

Argentina: Exports to the Middle East and North Africa fall

Mar 23, 2011

So far this season, the region of Río Negro Valley and Neuquén exported to different markets of the Middle East and North Africa a total of 8,700 tons, between pears and apples. The figure reflects a fall of about 40% compared to sale volumes for the same date last year. Undoubtedly, the political conflicts that affect this vast region -usually Muslim origin- hit markets and this was reflected in cutting imports of fruits, among many other products.     

South Tyrol apples see strong demand in Iran and Iraq

Mar 23, 2011

Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia but also Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, and even a major producer of apples such as Turkey, have become important customers for apples from Trentino-South Tyrol, just in the year of lower apple production in Europe and great political instability. This figure confirms the good time for the market.     

Turkish consumers to encounter new fruits

Mar 22, 2011

The Turkish Agriculture Ministry has authorized the one-time registration of fruits and vines that are not under protection in Turkey.According to data provided by the ministry, some 89 types of foreign fruits and grapevines will be registered within a few months. With the start of these crops’ cultivation in Turkey, local consumers will encounter many new fruits. These new fruit types include blueberry and tangor, an orange hybrid.     

DM signs MoU on fruits and vegetables expo

Mar 22, 2011

Dubai Municipality today singed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with planetfair Dubai LLC for organizing and hosting the third International Perishables Expo Middle East at Dubai Airport Expo during 26-28 September 2011. Eng. Abdulla Mohammed Rafia, Assistant Director General for General Support Services Sector signed the MoU on behalf of the Municipality, while planetfair was represented by its Managing Director, Ingo Klover. Khalifa Hareb, Director of Assets Management Department and other senior officials of the Municipality were also present on the occasion.     

Ecuador could nationalize banana exports

Mar 22, 2011

The Libyan crisis and a cold Russian winter have led to a depressed global banana market, with prices reaching around US$5.50 per carton. Ecuadorian President his intention to nationalize the country’s banana export industry, following complaints from farmers that exporters were avoiding contracts and fair prices.     

US (MI): Asparagus price jumps 8 cents per pound in 2011

Mar 21, 2011

Oceana County asparagus growers should have a little more green in their pockets at the end of this growing season. Ken Nye, executive director for the Michigan Agricultural Commodity Marketing Association (MACMA) asparagus division, announced the cash price for asparagus to growers this season will be 70 cents per pound, and the payment price is 72 cents per pound.     

Bananas expensive on Russian market

Mar 21, 2011

The price of bananas in the Russian market is high, according to import company JFC, on its website; where data of quotes are given for several cities of that country. According to the report of that company, on March 10th in St. Petersburg, a box of fruit was sold at 750 rubles, which means that at an exchange rate of that day, were US$26.51.     

EU: Good prices for Chilean apples

Mar 18, 2011

This month the first Chilean apples arrived in Holland. The season started with Royal Gala and in the meantime the first Granny Smith have arrived. "After this the red apples, Pink Lady, Fuji and Braeburn" a Dutch importer sums up. Depending on the season the Chilean apple season may continue till June. The prices of the Royal Gala are at a high level and importers expect this to remain the case during the coming months.     

US lifts tariffs on apple juice concentrates

Nov 18, 2010

China's fruit juice companies will become more active in the United States, after the US Department of Commerce lifted the 10-year-long anti-dumping tax on the country's apple juice concentrate products following a full review, analysts and industry insiders said on Wednesday. "Through this case, Chinese businesses will learn to make use of the legal procedures in these types of disputes with the US. As long as they are operating within the framework of the World Trade Organization, there is no need to be afraid of unreasonable anti-dumping charges, " said He Weiwen, director of the China-US Economy and Trade Research Center at the University of International Business and Economics. The US Department of Commerce first launched its anti-dumping investigation against China's apple juice concentrate products in June 1999.     

Indian Farmers’ unions to boost commercial banana production

Nov 16, 2010

Three of the country’s three farmers unions are targeting to boost commercial banana production in Honde Valley, Manicaland province through extending financial support to farmers. The three, Zimbabwe Farmers Union, Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union and Commercial Farmers Union are extended support to farmers through a joint organisation — the Union Project that they formed in 2008. The Food and Agricultural Organisation is funding the Union Project, whose main objective is to push forward the interest of the farmers in the country. The Project’s director, Mr Shadreck Hungwe told New Ziana on Sunday the Project was targeting to increase banana production to 28 metric tonnes per hectare from the current 20 metric tonnes.     

Himachal Pradesh procures 13984 MT apple under MIS

Sep 09, 2010

A spokesman of HPMC has contradicted the news item appeared in certain section of press on 3rd September, 2010 about the shortage of packing material and transportation of apple procured under MIS. Spokesman clarified here today that HPMC had made elaborate arrangements well before the commencement of Apple Season for the packing material and requirements of the growers was met as per demand received by the HPMC in the producing areas. He said that the rates for apple cartons as fixed in the beginning of the season of Rs. 36.50 per carton remains unchanged and was available at the same cost. He said that HPMC being a growers organization is making best efforts to provide the packing material to the growers and the Corporation is procuring 15-20 thousands cartons every day. Efforts are on to procure the trays also, he added. He further said that the Corporation has already supplied 7 lacs apple cartons and 19,000 bundles of trays to the growers so far and efforts are being made to procure more material to meet the increasing demand due to abrupt escalation of apple crop estimates by the growers.     

Prices of quality Himachal apples bounce back

Sep 08, 2010

Prices of superior quality apples have firmed up marginally ahead of the festival season, bringing cheers on the faces of growers in Himachal Pradesh. 'The market has once again started looking up after weeks of slump. The price of superior grade apples has increased by Rs.100 to Rs.150 a box,' Gian Singh Chandel, chairman of the government-run apple market committee at Dhalli near here, told IANS He said the rise in prices was due to the approaching Id-ul-Fitr festival Sep 11.     

Apple treat on occasion of Janamashtami, Id-ul-Fitr

Sep 07, 2010

The quality Himachal apples are fetching good price in the market on the festive season of Janamashtami and Id-ul-Fitr. Gian Singh Chandel, chairman, Agriculture Produce Marketing Corporation, said market has once again started looking up after weeks of slump as the prices of superior grade apples, generating Rs 2000 crore for the state GDP, have increased by Rs 100 to Rs 150 a box. Horticulture department officials said over two crore standard boxes of apples have been sent to various markets in the country.     

Agriculture experts zero in on natural parasite to combat Papaya mealy bug

Sep 06, 2010

After identifying the papaya mealy bug, entomologists at the college of Agriculture, Pune have now identified the natural parasite to control the pest. Studies are on to find ways for the mass multiplication of three species of the parasite that have been imported from the US Department of Agriculture to control the large-scale damage to papaya, as well as 55 other fruits, that are also a host to the pest. A team from the bio-control department of College will undergo a three day training at the National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects (NBAII), Bangalore in the next week for the mass production. While Paracoccus marginatus, the mealy bug pest came to India from Sri Lanka, and has been there in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh in May 2009, Acerophagus papayae, the natural parasite, was first identified by entomologists in Pune in the same mealy bug infested orchards.