Updated: April 14, 2022 1:14:31 pm
Fresh figs from Purandhar taluka of Pune district have for the first time been exported. The Purandhar Highland Farmer’s Producers Company (FPC) has managed to successfully export the highly perishable fruit, which, till date, has never left the country’s shores.
Rohan Ursal, chairman of the FPC, said the trial shipment consisted of 10 kg of the fruit, which was sourced from the fig orchards of Mayur and Saurabh Lawande from Singhapur village in the taluka.
Fresh figs, while being a rich source of nutrients, are highly perishable; their quality deteriorates within hours of being plucked.
In order to export the produce, Ursal said, they had to work with growers to ensure the right agricultural practices as well as enable proper packaging and transport.
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The FPC, which is the first of its kind working with figs and custard apples, has a vast network of farmers from where they source their produce.
Over the last two months, the FPC has been conducting trials with StePac, a packaging solution company from Israel, as well as Bayer Crop Sciences’ food chain department. The company, he pointed out, has been able to send shipments out of Maharashtra through air cargo to markets of Hyderabad and other areas. “The produce has high demand, but given the less research and development done on the crop, growers have not been able to fully exploit its potential,” he said. The figs from Purandar are GI tagged.
The decision to export the fruit was taken to establish the proper SOP and also enter the European market. The trial shipment, Ursal said, was sent to Pliz Schindler GmbH. “The shipment was in the cargo area for two days as on weekends their staff do not work. Yet the quality was as fresh as it was plucked,” he said.
Ursal said the first export was helped by the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board with Sunil Pawar, the managing director, guiding the process. “With this success story, we now invite exporters to take notice of GI Purandar figs as a viable export commodity and urge our farmers to be ready to undertake progressive and modern fig and custard apple farming to seize upcoming opportunities,” he added.
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