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Girish Sarda - MGE Farms
Indian pomegranate season delayed due to heavy rainfall
The pomegranate season of the region Sangli in South Maharashtra began in the month of November. The start has been delayed due to large amounts of rainfall. “We had a good rainy season, but this was followed up with even more rain in October. From the 5th up to the 13th of October, there was continuous rain. This could impact the arrival and production of the coming season,” explains Girish Sarda of the Indian company MGE Farms.
While the production of pomegranate in India takes place throughout the whole year, export is limited to certain time frames due to foreign competition. “Egypt has recently finished and the market is now being supplied by Spanish, Turkey, RSA and Israelian pomegranates."
"After that comes the US during November and December. Right now, we are starting to produce to export. There is demand on markets in the Middle East throughout the whole year, but the Asian markets prefer Egypt, Spanish, Peruvian pomegranates due to their bigger sizes. However, Indian pomegranates do possess a better quality, especially when compared to Egyptian pomegranates.”
In mid-April, Peruvian pomegranates will hit the markets in Europe and Asia, which means the export season for Indian pomegranates comes to an end. “As we started later due to the rainy season, we could probably export our fruit until week 16 or 17. Whether we’re able to actually do so wholly depends on Peru,” says Sarda.
MGE Farms is expecting good prices. The company has little internal competition, as there aren’t that many Indian companies both growing and exporting pomegranates. “Prices last year were good, though prices dropped considerably in Europe when produce from Peru arrived on the market. Europe has more demand for bigger sizes of 12 and over, while we normally pack sizes of 9, 10, 12 and 14.”
According to Sarda, last year was very good. He is however wary of the consequences of too much production. “We really want to avoid the situation we’ve seen with grapes. The Indian grape sector had an abundant harvest. Lots of grapes hit the European market, but then the market collapsed due to oversupply. We need to look at the long run of our production. Farmers and exporters should take care of excess volumes.”
MGE Farms currently has a network of 20 contract growers, producing a supply of 30 to 40 containers of pomegranates meant for the European market. Apart from pomegranates, the company is also involved with grapes. “We’re currently holding trials for existing grape varieties on 25 hectares of land in South of India. If these trials prove successful, we’ll start full production in the coming year,” says Girish Sarda in conclusion.
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Monsoon Green Earth Farms and Projects Pvt.
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