Export of pomegranate products expected to grow
Pomegranate, considered the king of fruits from the earliest of times, is one of the most favorite fruits of Azerbaijanis.
The symbol of Azerbaijan, which is already exported to different parts of the world, is expecting to appear in more courtiers, since the country will enhance exports of pomegranate.
Chairman of the Azerbaijan Pomegranate Producers and Exporters Association Farhad Garashov said that Azerbaijan plans to increase the export of fruit and products derived from it in the coming years.
“The figures are growing from year to year. From October 2017 to March this year, exports of both pomegranate and products made of it valued $12 million. Usually the harvest of pomegranate begins in October. With proper storage, the product is kept until March,” he told Trend.
The chairman of the association noted that today the products made of pomegranates of Azerbaijani origin are exported to many countries, including Australia, Canada and Russia.
“As for the pomegranate itself, today it is mainly exported to Russia. Our goal is to expand the geography of supplies, in particular to establish exports to Europe and North America,” he said.
Garashov also said that in 2017, processing enterprises in Azerbaijan purchased about 20,000 tons of pomegranate from local farmers for production of juices, narsharab (pomegranate syrup) and other products.
Meanwhile, Azerbaijan plans to begin construction of a large complex for the production of pomegranate products in 2019
Commenting on this Garashov said that several members of the association have already prepared a business plan.
“To compile it, foreign consulting and audit companies were involved. The business plan is submitted to the Ministry of Economy of Azerbaijan, and we expect a positive response. The project can be financed through the National Entrepreneurship Support Fund,” he said.
According to the chairman of the Association, the complex can be built in one of the industrial parks of Azerbaijan.
“It is planned that the complex will consist of four enterprises for the production of pomegranate juice, concentrate, processing of pomegranate peels and seeds. The total cost of the complex, according to the business plan is 25 million manat. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2019, completed by 2021,” said the chairman.
In general, according to Garashov, an important task is to increase the types of products obtained from pomegranate.
“This will help increase the export potential in this area. From a pomegranate it is possible to receive juices, alcoholic drinks, and narcharab. Pomegranate rind as well as oil from its seeds are used in cosmetology, pharmaceutical production. That is, it is a non-waste product,” he said.
The Azerbaijan Pomegranate Producers and Exporters Association was established on October 31, 2016. Today it brings together 26 members.