Agriculture World

India and Serbia to Explore Import –Export Fruit Market Potential

Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
Dr. Lakshmi Unnithan
fruit

Will India Govt assure an Import Fruit Market of Serbia Fruits in the country despite high volumes of Pesticide usage in fruit crops in Serbia? 

India and Serbia have traditionally enjoyed deep friendship and they are still pondering to deepen the relations with respect to the economic development. Delegates from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, and a handful of business entities and representatives met today at the Serbia Embassy, India to discuss the opportunities to be exploited. 

Fruit Production is one of the key sub sectors of Serbia’s economic development and therefore given a strategic treatment by the Government of Serbia. With fruit export of 57.6 Euros per capita, Serbia is on the 13th place in the world, considering data from 2014 year. In 2017, export of Serbian fruits, amounted 584.8 millions of Euros. Serbia is second largest provider of frozen fruit to French, Belgium and German Market in 2017. 

In 2017,Serbia’s exports of frozen raspberries represents 29.9 % of world exports for this product, its ranking in world exports is 1.With around 94,000 tons produced and export revenues  amounting to $207 million, Serbia was largest exporter of frozen raspberries 2017 globally. Around 90-95 % of raspberry production is intended for export, mainly frozen in bulk. This constitutes a huge potential for investors who are thinking to start a production of final products with all kinds of different berries such as spreads, jams, toppings, ingredients for ice-cream industry fruit cubes for yoghurt production etc. 

In 2017, Serbia was measured by value of apples, the first exporter to Russian Federation. Serbia exported more than 111 million Euros of apples annually. Massive apple orchards are expanding all across Serbia especially in Vojvodina with premium melioration systems, trendy varieties and expensive anti hail nets etc. With a Ferrero investment on Serbian market, vigorous potential is recognised for high intensive hazel nut production. 

Along with the Shooting Record status of Fruit Market status of Serbia, we also get to hear from the Recent Serbia monitor reports for the month of June 2019, that about 70 per cent of food in Serbia is sprayed with various chemicals and Experts say apples, for example, are sprayed more than 16 times, while the world standard is three times. Trkulja, the govt official points out that the pesticide market is very profitable and that there are 800 registered pesticides in Serbia. Washing fruits and vegetables cannot help if pesticide residues are inside the fruit, but if the pesticide residues are on the surface, then thoroughly washing them does help. It’s all about spraying, and the most treated produce is berries and cherries. 

Mr. Milan Zivkovic & Dusan Milivojevic whom we met in India represented companies called “Juzni Banat d.o.o.” and “Apple World  d.o.o.” which have Apple orchards on 220 ha and 300 ha respectively. Their Storage capacity is about 13,000 tons and 20,000 tons respectively. They have one of the most modern fruit grading and packaging with a capacity of 10t/hour. Dusan Milivojevic said that Apple world also organize collection from smaller manufactures and they export 20,000 tonnes of apples. The annual yield of apples is 25,000 tonnes and all production is exported, mostly to Russian and European Countries. 

Another company called” PDM Agro fruit d.o.o.”  and “Select Fruit d.o.o.” says they do not have any orchards, but they function as FPO’s collecting and organizing production through cooperation. Interestingly there were business entities who came even from a nursery in Serbia to export grafts and fruit trees for exporting. They are supposed to be one of the biggest producers of fruit & vine planting material in Serbia. They are already exporting to Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Algeria, Morocco, Russian Federation & Europe. There was no information been given regarding the varieties and the quarantine measures. 

To keep up with the consumer demands for year-round availability of fruits, that has resulted in growing export markets for year long produce. However, studies in this regard points to the need to address some inherent risks of enhanced horticultural exports, such as health and environmental impacts (which may result from large-scale use of pesticides and water that are often associated with commercial production of horticultural crops), and other issues such as the implications for food security and the possible marginalization of smallholders and not exploring the local and desi seasonal fruits. Sufficient care should be taken with respect to this regard keeping in mind the Sustainability Goals. 

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