Argentine pomegranate company set to raise export stakes
Rich in antioxidants and with relatively low water requirements, pomegranates have gained momentum in global markets over recent years. To take advantage of this situation, Argentina's Tikagroup hopes to export 16,800 metric tons (MT) annually within five years.
Tikagroup commercial director Federico Bordi says his company has the only pomegranate nursery in the country certified by the National Food Health and Quality Service (SENASA), and has been developing the fruit since 2009.
"Our company, with its activity, proposes a fresh fruit that is in high demand globally. At the same time, this allows us to obtain sub-products that are processed and accompany trade, both in local and foreign markets. In this way, Argentina opens a new trade in the global pomegranate fruit market," Bordi tells www.freshfruitportal.com.
The Buenos Aires-based group sources from 1,200ha of pomegranates planted across the country and its team is currently working on other projects to expand the cultivation area.
The business shipped just 259MT this year, but Bordi expects 33,600MT worth of production in the next four or five years, of which half will be exported.
"Next year we expect to double exports, thinking about markets like the European Union, Canada, Indonesia, Singapore, Qatar and Uruguay," he says.
The main varieties grown are Wonderful and Acco, which "together with exclusive varieties with royalties are developed in our nursery in Formosa, coming from the State of Israel".
In the coming years, Tikagroup expects another 250ha worth of pomegranates will be planted in Dragones, Salta, where there is currently 320ha dedicated to the crop. Elsewhere, there are 311ha in Cruz del Eje, Cordoba; 400ha in Campo Grande, San Juan; 30ha in Concordia, Entre Rios; 5ha in Misiones and 35ha in Santiago del Estero.