Kerala's fruits and vegetable exporters
have heaved a sigh of relief following the lifting of the export ban by Saudi
Arabia after the Nipah virus attack last year.
Saudi lifts export ban on fruits and veg;
direct exports commence
P.E. Ashraf Ali
of Pomona Exports, Kozhikode, said that they have received a communication in
this regard from the Saudi Arabian authorities during the second week of May
that has led to the commencement of direct exports from the three airports in
Saudi Arabia is one of the major export
markets of fruits and vegetables from Kerala and the presence of large floating
population ensures a good volume of business from there.
airport handling 20 tonnes of fruits and vegetables per day
With the lifting of the embargo, he said
Kozhikode airport was alone handling 20 tonnes of fruits and vegetables per day
valued at $50,000 to various destinations in Saudi. A similar proportion has
also been moving from the other two airports of Kochi and Thiruvananthapuram to
Dammam, Riyadh and Jeddah airports.
Currently, mangoes such as Alphonso,
Banganapalle are the major items in the export basket, followed by banana and
around 150 tonnes of fruits and veg daily to gulf countries
Kerala ships around 150 tonnes of fruits
and vegetables on a daily basis to various gulf countries and of this, the
consignment to Saudi alone was 30-40 tonnes.
With the easing of restrictions, exporters are
now looking at increasing the quantity of exports to 200 tonnes this year. “We
are receiving more export enquiries from European countries, Japan, New
Zealand, Korea etc especially for the shipments of fruits”, Ali said.