Caribbean rambutans on export roll
The exotic fruit rambutan has been given a major boost with the U.S. government decision to accept Puerto Rican imports, while a new Costa Rican processing plant for the fruit is set to open soon.
Costa Rica is gaining revenues of about CRC867 million (US$362,000) annually through exports of the fruit which is popular in Asia, France, England and Canada, website El Financiero reported.
Agro-industrial development program (Proagroin) chief executive Jorge Sánchez, told the website he hoped to start exporting canned fruit in December when the plant opens.
The organization, set up to support small- to medium-sized growers, has invested about US$900,000 in the plant and is recruiting 30 people to manage the three production lines in fresh fruit, juice and frozen produce.
Sánchez said this should help boost Costa Rican exports which have experienced fierce competition from Mexico and Guatemala, the story reported.
The new plant will use fruit whose size and shape do not meet export requirements but still have a good quality and taste.
Inspectors at the U.S. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) have said they will accept commercial imports only of Puerto Rican rambutans.
Consignments must be inspected and certified by APHIS as free from all quarantine pests including coccus moestus, coccus viridis, dysmicoccus neobrevipes, maconellicoccus hirsutus and planococcus minor.
The movement of fresh rambutans from Puerto Rico will be regulated by amending the Puerto Rico Manual through a notice-based process.
Photo: Flickr, goosmurf