Chilean-bred table grape set for global production
Biofrutales manager Rodrigo Cruzat tells www.freshfruitportal.com genetic material for Chilean-bred Iniagrape-one has now reached as far as India.
"Iniagrape-one was the first variety developed by the Agricultural Research Institute (INIA), which has a commercial impact in Chile and will now start to have an impact in other countries," Cruzat says.
"The variety is already registered in more than 15 countries, of which approximately 10 have already received plant material and are planting."
However, Cruzat highlights India is "difficult to access" so the entry is very new for the variety while also taking the number of continents where Iniagrape-one is present up to five.
"Sending plant material to the U.S. or Peru for example is a challenge, but they are markets we already know. In contrast, India is a new world."
He said while Iniagrape-one could have fared perfectly fine if it were just grown in Chile, the plan has been to develop the country's industry as not just an exporter but a developer of varieties.
As part of this the company in charge of the variety's commercial development, ANA Chile, signed an agreement with English company Jupiter Marketing Limited which has operations in India, and is the entity which received the plant material from Chile.
"The idea is to send a lot of material so that countries that have this variety registered can go on producing and develop commercially," Cruzat said.
Jupiter Marketing has also imported Chilean-grown Iniagrape-ones, which Cruzat claims were "very interesting" for supermarket chains in Great Britain.
"They like the variety so much that to be able to have a commercial program they were going to need supply all year, so that's why it seemed to them India could supply in a complementary window to what was going to be produced from Chile, Peru and other countries that have it."
However, not all the Indian fruit will be destined for the U.K. Cruzat adds it will also be sold in the local market, oriented towards premium segments where consumers have more purchasing power.
Where else will the variety be grown?
Cruzat said in addition to India, the genetic material had reached Peru, the U.S., Australia, Spain, Italy and South Africa, while in Chile production was just recently entering the commercial phase with small plantings.
There are currently 250 hectares in Chile with Iniagrape-one which have been planted over the last three years, while Cruzat adds a "significant" amount of production will come from Peru in 2016-17.
"I would say that in the next two years we'll see more significant production in the other countries. Chile has its window, a small gap in its favor, but quickly we'll see other countries developing their commercial production.