The pomegranate season in India lasts the whole year, but as the monsoon season hits, the time for great quality pomegranates begins. That season recently started and so there are busy times ahead for Indian exporter Kay Bee Exports.
The months May and June are the most troublesome months for Indian pomegranates. Due to a lack of rain and a water shortage in general, the quality of the pomegranates usually suffers a bit. That time has now ended, with the monsoon season starting, meaning there’s plenty of rain to go around for the fruits. According to Kay Bee Exports CEO Kaushal Khakhar this is the best time for exports: “We see an increase in the European demand, especially during the times when other countries closer to Europe haven’t started their season yet. At this point we only use airfreight to ship the pomegranates to these countries. This demand will slow down once the Spanish and Israeli seasons begin in August/September. Our main market then shifts to the Middle-Eastern and South East Asian regions. We ship by sea to reach these countries.”
The Indian pomegranates remain quite popular throughout the whole year, Khakhar says. “The Indian variety is known for being a good looking fruit, being soft with a great sweet taste. The cultivation of Indian pomegranates has improved a lot, as five years ago there was a big problem with bacterial diseases being present in the pomegranate orchards. Luckily the agricultural university helped us out with this problem, and although we can never eradicate the problem fully, we can now manage the problem and no longer lose whole orchards to the disease. The years have been less challenging since then. It all came down to better field hygiene, which led to less infected fruits.”
Kay Bee Exports have 300 acres of their own, where they grow the pomegranates. According to Khakhar there is still potential to grow a lot: “We keep increasing our volumes year after year. We also own three packhouses in different regions of India, so we have the entire process under our own control. We have a newly built state-of-the-art pomegranate handling facility in Maharashtra, India from where we ship our Global-GAP certified pomegranates.
We are pomegranate specialists in India and that experience makes it so we hardly expect any huge challenges this season. We expect smooth sailing with a good quality fruit. The pomegranates will be available throughout the year, but the best quality can be obtained from now until about April.”