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First ever pomegranates from India to USA

The Bhagwa variety, renowned for its soft seeds and sweet taste, has finally managed to reach the USA after sustained efforts by the Indian NPPO (National Plant Protection Organisation), APEDA (export promotion council for fresh produce) and Maharashtra state government authorities. The pomegranates had to undergo an irradiation treatment of 400 Gy. A trial air shipment of 324 boxes was sent through a pre-clearance irradiation program operated by the USDA in Mumbai. Dr. Vedpal Malik from USDA signed the first documents to enable exports.

The company has been shipping Indian mangoes to USA for the last ten years by using an irradiation treatment. The irradiation process eliminates quarantine pests and at the same extends shelf life and improves flavor. This same treatment has now been approved by the USDA for pomegranates.

The irradiation treatment mitigates several pests that are of concern to the USDA. Along with it, exporters are required to also ensure absence of other pests that cannot be mitigated by irradiation viz. Tenuipalpus granati, Tenuipalpus punicae and Xanthomonas axonopodis.

Kay Bee Exports has its own Global GAP certified farming operations for pomegranates and handles one of the largest volumes for exports to Europe, Middle East and Asia. A lot of care is taken in growing the Pomegranates in a safe and environmentally-friendly way. Numerous IPM (Integrated Pest Management) systems are used to ensure minimum usage of chemicals. Both traditional practices and modern know-how are synchronized on the farms.

Kaushal Khakhar, CEO of Kay Bee Exports has expressed a lot of optimism regarding this new market access. Commenting on the first shipment, “India is the only country in the world with 365 day availability and fresh harvest. This allows us to ship pomegranates to all parts of the world during the receiving country’s off-season. We are excited at being able to ship the first fruit to the USA and we look forward to working with new customers and promote this excellent fruit from India. It is the untiring efforts of various government agencies which has culminated into the first shipment.”

They also operate a high-care hand-extracted pomegranate arils facility. Being cut-fruits, these have been allowed access to USA for several years. The company ships about 200 tonnes of fresh mangoes to the USA. It has won five consecutive government export awards with annual revenues of US$20 million.

For more information:

Kaushal Khakhar
Kay Bee Exports
Office: +91 22 41578900 (9.30 am to 6 pm, GMT+5.5)
Mobile : + 91 9870405667

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