India aims to expand banana exports

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Emily French

BY EMILY FRENCH

India aims to expand banana exports

Plans to export bananas to China, East Asia, the Middle East and Europe could generate US$1.2bn annually

India aims to expand banana exports

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India, the world's leading banana producer, is aiming to expand its export programme for the fruit, the BBC reports.

The Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) has drawn up a plan to export Indian bananas worldwide, to destinations including China, East Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

The plan would see the creation of a global brand for Tamil Nadu Bananas, inspired by the successful branding approaches taken to create Florida Oranges or Washington Apples.

Prospective revenue generated by this trade could be as high as US$1.2bn annually.

The CII has laid out a gestation period of 18 months after which it is confident of the plan's capacity for success.

"If the post-harvest losses alone can be avoided then exporting 28m tonnes of bananas would not be a problem," B Thiagarajan, chairman of the National Cold Chain Task Force at the CII, told the media.

Despite this significant potential, the plan's detractors have made the point that India's domestic production is not even adequate to meet local demand.

Furthermore, the country's post-harvest facilities are widely acknowledged to be insufficient, with little cold chain infrastructure and staggering annual losses of around US$16.8bn.

Tamil Nadu farmers are cynical about the plan's potential for success and question whether it will bring any benefit for growers.

With economic analysts positing that a strong relationship between farmers and buyers is essential for success, the CII has stated one of its key aims is to improve its engagement  with local farmers.

 

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