Chile and India have inked a deal paving the way for Chile to export avocados and blueberries to India from next season.
The agreement – the culmination of 10 years of negotiations – was reached on Monday during a meeting between Claudio Ternicier, Chile’s sub-secretary of agriculture, the joint secretary of the Indian agriculture ministry, Ashwani Kumar, and other representatives from the Chilean fruti industry in New Delhi.
Under the terms of the deal, blueberries and avocados will be subject to phytosanitary inspection and certification under a Systems Approach.
Andrés Barbé, Chile’s ambassador in India, pointed out the huge potential that exists for both products, particularly in hotels and fruit stores.
“India currently imports avocados from New Zealand and blueberries from the US and Canada as neither product in grown domestically,” he said.
“This deal allows us to diversify our export basket to India, adding avocados and blueberries to current shipments of apples, table grapes, kiwifruit, pears and cherries.”
During the meeting, Chilean plant health officials also discussed the use of alternative treatments that could pave the way for imports of walnuts, and agreed to analyse access for Chilean prunes without fumigation.
The Indian government, meanwhile, expressed its desire to fast-track negotiations on the opening of the Chilean market for Indian mangoes and pomegranates.
During the 2015/16 season Chile exported more than 35,000 tonnes of fresh fruit to India, an increase of almost 70 per cent on the previous season.
Red apples accounted for 90 per cent of the export total, kiwifruit for 9 per cent and the table grapes, plums cherries and pears together for the remaining 1 per cent.