There is a constant demand for export of fruits and vegetables. Moreover, it is simple to cultivate fruits and vegetables and more farmers are taking to these products. Hence, more number of people show keen interest in exporting vegetables and fruits. India holds the second position in cultivating and producing more number of vegetables and fruits in the world and so also the opportunities for export of the same is more.
Central Ministry sources reveal that during 2017-18, we had done export of vegetables and fruits to the tune of Rs.9,410/- crores out of which Rs.5,181/- was towards vegetables and Rs.4,229/- was towards fruits.
Those who are interested in export trade, should first get registered with APEDA (Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority) and start with potato, yam, black yam, beetroot and tapioca which are long-lasting vegetables. Currently, carrot, brinjal (round ones), lady’s fingers, sabre beans, bitter gourd, ribbed gourd, beans, drumsticks are in great demand in the export market. They are exported more from places like Ottan chaithiram and Hosur. Regarding fruits, mangoes, papaya, guava (inside part red in colour) and bananas are exported more.
Vegetables and fruits can be comfortably exported to Singapore and Middle East countries. It is better to avoid Malaysia since they are rather self-sufficient. We can export to America and European countries also but the risk element is more in these countries. In Singapore, a kilo of vegetable costs around Rs.125/- to Rs.175/- and a papaya costs easily Rs.200/-. If we want to send vegetables to Singapore through air, it will cost around Rs.60 – Rs.80/- per kilo and if we send through sea, it will cost Rs.10/--Rs.15/- only. We must choose the mode of transport based on the quantity of commodity.
There is another condition that if we want to send through ship, the minimum quantity should be around 10 tonnes vegetables or fruits but whereas if it is through air, they will accept 100 kg, 200 kg or 500 kg. as the case may be. Nowadays containers with freezer facilities have come into being and hence commodities are safely despatched. If we want to send a container with this freezer facility to Singapore, it would easily cost Rs. 1 L for about 15 tonnes. The cost will be different for different countries. Care must be taken to send directly to the final destination if it is through sea. We should not send through transhipment method that is through more than one destination. . For example, Brunie has lot of demand for vegetables but there is a practical difficulty in sending it for want of direct ship service. This problem still persists.
Shipment through sea to Middle East countries will take 7-8 days and to Singapore it will take 5-7 days. Wherever we send, we must ensure that the goods reach the destination maximum within 10 days. Similarly, if we send by air, it must be guaranteed that it reaches within 24 hours. That is why there are some difficulties in sending shipments to America and European countries by sea. If it is possible, we must arrange to send only by air. Dubai and Qatar have great demand next only to Singapore. The Aweer market in Dubai is a famous one and in general, Dubai has great demand for coconuts.
One informative point to be noted is that the actual buyers in these countries are none but Indians only. As regards payment, it must preferably be received in advance, especially when we send the goods through air. It is better not to send the goods without advance payment. The party (buyer) should also be known to us. It is further necessary to prepare pre-shipment documents including invoice for easy clearance from the Customs department. Similarly, post-shipment documents also need to be made ready the details of which can be seen in the forthcoming parts.
Planning leads to success:-
Pugazhendi of Harsha Fresh, Krishnagiri has been exporting mangoes and tomatoes for the past ten years. He shares the point that Indian mangoes like banganapalli, alphonso enjoy a great demand at global level. The main reasons for this trend are a) moderate weather condition in India and b) excess heat which have expanded the requirement for mangoes. He has been exporting to nearly 14 countries including England, Dubai, Singapore etc.
Mangoes stay ripe for longer duration because of wax smearing that is prepared from natural honey and with freezer facility. Same process can be followed for sending apples and oranges. In India, the mango season is right from January and extends up to August month. He says it is possible to buy a kilo of mango fruit for Rs.20/- locally and sell at Rs.200/- per kilo in the export market. He has a cold storage facility with 2,500 tonne capacity and is able to export 350 tonne seasoned mangoes every year.
Likewise, there is a substantial demand for the country tomato instead of Bengaluru tomatoes because of its sour taste. Hence, we can export the country tomato more to the needy countries and expand the business. He has been packing the tomatoes in the cotton box with thermocol and plastic tray packing. Tomatoes can be exported to Dubai and Singapore through ship instead of air because in his opinion, the cost through air is more. He is very particular that without getting advance payment, we should never export. If proper planning is done in exports, it will give us good returns.
Training on Packing:-
Packing is an important component in export. Vegetables and fruits are supposed to be packed properly and securely so that the quality will be maintained at all times. For instance, papaya is to be packed in in its standing position; carrot should be packed intact without cutting its stem and bitter gourd and ribbed gourd should be packed in lying condition. The outer cotton box should have holes for proper ventilation. While packing the fruits , we should not put ordinary paper bundles in between layers of fruits instead of which we must lay the tissue paper in-between. These are all certain guidelines in packing.
Indian Institute of Packaging (IIP) which is in Chennai, is a Central Government institution, offering special training on packaging. It imparts training on sophisticated packaging and packing different commodities meant for export. More details can be seen in their website www.iip-in.com
Aspiring persons can join this institute for getting trained on packing.
For contact: Deputy Director, No.169, Industrial Estate, 2nd Main Road, Burma colony, Perungudi, Chennai – 600096. Ph: 044 24960730/24961560. Mobile: 93821 99089
(This article written in Tamil by K S Kamaludeen for Pasumai Vikatan magazine dated 10/11/18 has been trans created in English by P.S.Ramamurthy)