In a move that could result in higher price realisation for Indian farmers, the first trial shipment of fresh pomegranate has been exported to the US by air in a move.

“The first export consignment of pomegranate to the US was initiated by APEDA in collaboration with National Plant Protection Organization of India, the US’ Animal & Plant Health Inspection Service, Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board, ICAR-National Research Centre on Pomegranate, Solapur and others,” according to a statement issued by the Commerce & Industry Ministry on Tuesday.

The increase in pomegranate exports to the US would result in higher price realisation and increase in farmers’ income, according to Abhishek Dev, Chairman, APEDA. There has been encouraging response from the importers of the pomegranate shipment, he said.

India’s Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Department and the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) had signed a framework agreement at the India-US Trade Policy Forum meeting in November 2021 for implementing the 2 Vs 2 agri market access issues covering Indian mangoes, pomegranate and pomegranate arils from the Indian side and cherries and Alfalfa hay from the US side.

Also read: India resumes pomegranate export to US

Fruit exports

“Buoyed by the acceptance of Indian mangoes in US markets, exporters are hopeful that pomegranate would also become a successful product in the USA,” the release noted.

India ranks seventh in production of pomegranate in the world and the total area under cultivation is around 2,75,500 hectares. In 2022-23, 62,280 tonnes worth  $58.36 million were exported to countries including the United Arab Emirates,  Bangladesh, Nepal, Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Bahrain, and Oman, the release said. India is the second largest producer of horticulture crops.

“APEDA has taken several initiatives to address the concerns of the pomegranate value chain from pre-production, production, post-harvest, logistics and branding, to marketing activities. Besides establishing more than 250 export-oriented, European Union-compliant, pack houses in the private sector, financial assistance has also been provided to State governments under Common Infrastructure Development augment capacity infrastructures for exports,” the release said.