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Australia to increase its fruits export basket news
01 February 2006

Chennai: With Australian apples finding favour with the Indian consumer''s palate, the Australian government has decided to promote the second phase of its strategy push up the export of its fruit basket to India.

The Australian government is in the process of talking with Indian businesses to set up a chain of cold storages in the major cities. Deals with three Indian businesses, SFC Marketing Pvt Ltd, Chennai, Euro Fruits, Mumbai, and Indraprastha, New Delhi, have been concluded. The Aussies also plan to tie-up with a couple of Indian growers and transfer fruit farming technologies to them.

According to P S Krishnan, head, South India, Australian Trade Commission, the Australian government follows a four-pronged strategy. The first is to export the produce to India and trade. Based on the consumer response, it will be followed by (a) setting up marketing / distribution network (b) establishing joint ventures and technical collaborations in India and (c) setting up manufacturing operations.

"We have launched a ''national food industry strategy'' for India investing around Rs50 million. The idea is to take the Australian food and beverage exports to India to A$250 million (Rs836.25 crore) over the next five years."

India is the second-largest fruits importer for Australia. Last year, India imported around 5,000 tonnes (value A$5 million or Rs16.72 crore at today''s conversion) of apples. A few tonnes of peaches, plums and nectarines, collectively called Summerfruit, valued A$236,000 (Rs7,894,200) were also imported and sold in Delhi and Mumbai for Rs400 per kg.

According to Glynn Ward, research officer, Horticulture Plant Industries, government of Western Australia, "The increasing income levels and the growth of organised retail chains in India provides us a business opportunity. The focus for next couple of months will be on exporting `Summerfruit'' to India."

As per plans Australia plans to export around 200 tonnes of Summerfruit to India by next the year. "The increased supplies would bring down the retail price to Rs280 / kg," Ward expects.


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Australia to increase its fruits export basket