Improving Safety and Quality

of the Sri Lankan fruits and vegetables

  • New
  • Tomatoe
  • Mango
  • pine
  • water-m

ff5The government is planning to launch a special program to address the growing concerns over excessive use of pesticides in vegetables and fruits. The Ministry of Agricultural Development (MoAD) is preparing to launch a separate program to tackle the problem as the budget for the fiscal year 2014/15 couldn´t include the issue. “Haphazard use of pesticides and other agro-chemicals in fruits, vegetables and other food items is a serious concern and major contemporary issue, as well,” Tek Prasad Luitel, deputy spokesperson of MoAD told Republica, adding “We will soon launch a separate program in a bid to address the problem as the budget did not include this issue.” Luitel informed that the new program would primarily focus on establishment of pesticide residue testing laboratories across different vegetables and fruits markets and collection centers across the country as soon as possible, and conduct massive awareness campaigns among farmers and traders. Source: myrepublica.com

ghananaThe European Union has put a temporary ban on exports of vegetables from Ghana to their region. The ban was put in place after EU authorities identified some vegetables from Ghana that did not meet their quality standards. This is not the first time Ghanaian farmers and exporters have had to face this setback having failed to meet certain benchmarks. Some months ago, mangoes from Ghana were banned because of fly infestation. Ghana faced another sanction last year, when the EU noted that fish supposedly from Ghana did not really come from Ghanaian territorial waters. Reacting to the latest news, Agric Minister, Fiifi Kwetey said the Ministry is putting measures in place to address the issues. “As a country, we will from time to time have some of these concerns. I don’t think it is the first time we have had those concerns. We are clearly going to take them on board in order to ensure that if we are going to have sustainable exports, we cannot afford to compromise on quality,” he assured. According to him, “some of the quality we are talking about is not something at the Ministerial level. It has to do with production; that is taking place down in the farms. We will give support to them in terms of equipment to ensure that those minimum standards are kept.”

mangoesInternational Mango Festival takes place every July in India and gathers mango plantation owners together. This is the last in the series of holidays dedicated to the “King of all Fruit” in India, and is organized by Tourism and Transport Corporation in Talkatora stadium in Delhi. The best fruit from all around India is to be brought here. Festival visitors can taste different varieties of mango, and take part in various competitions, children shows, quizzes, fruit-eating contests. New varieties are exhibited here; mango producers compete with each other. Tarik Mustafa, a mango breeder, has surprised everyone this year with a new variety of mango that weighs 1 kilo. In his interview he says – Yesterday, this variety was with no name, but now it has one – I called it Hindi-Russi after Russia. May this fruit become another symbol of friendship between our countries. It is to be reminded that a popular old saying “Hindi Russi Bhai Bhai” means “Indians and Russians are brothers”. Publication date: 7/29/2014

ghananaThe European Union has put a temporary ban on exports of vegetables from Ghana to their region.

The ban was put in place after EU authorities identified some vegetables from Ghana that did not meet their quality standards. This is not the first time Ghanaian farmers and exporters have had to face this setback having failed to meet certain benchmarks. Some months ago, mangoes from Ghana were banned because of fly infestation. Ghana faced another sanction last year, when the EU noted that fish supposedly from Ghana did not really come from Ghanaian territorial waters. Reacting to the latest news, Agric Minister, Fiifi Kwetey said the Ministry is putting measures in place to address the issues.

“As a country, we will from time to time have some of these concerns. I don’t think it is the first time we have had those concerns. We are clearly going to take them on board in order to ensure that if we are going to have sustainable exports, we cannot afford to compromise on quality,” he assured. According to him, “some of the quality we are talking about is not something at the Ministerial level. It has to do with production; that is taking place down in the farms. We will give support to them in terms of equipment to ensure that those minimum standards are kept.”

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Publication date: 8/1/2014

US demand for Mexican avocados skyrockets.

Not long ago, East Coast and Midwest shoppers, curious about avocados, found only flavourless, hard-as-baseball fruit that, when sliced, didn't look or smell anything like what they'd tried at a Mexican restaurant. These days, the fruit can be found ripe throughout the country, year-round. Avocado consumption in the U.S. has skyrocketed, says Emiliano Escobedo , executive director of the Irvine, California-based Hass Avocado Board, growing about 1200 percent since the start of the millennium 14 years ago. Last year, more than 3.3 billion avocados were consumed in the United States, which works out to about 10 per person. USDA statistics show 38,676 metric tons of avocados were imported from Mexico in 2004 , for a value of $59.9 million . In only the first five months of this year, 258,430 metric tons came in from Mexico, for a value of $567.8 million. "It keeps on growing and growing at double-digit growth," Escobedo said. "The growth in the demand in the United States has been consistent." One of the key reasons for the soaring popularity was the 2005 end of restricting imports from Mexico, something growers in California -- by far the largest U.S. region for avocado production -- feared. Previously, Mexican avocados were only allowed in some states on the East Coast. That changed once Mexican growers were able to demonstrate that their product could be exported with no threat of spreading pests to U.S. groves. With availability came affordability for inland U.S. consumers, who were getting more exposure to Mexican food because of the nation's growing Latino population.

Russia: Rich consumers eat more fruit and vegetables.

Although Russia has very high agricultural potential, with 8% of the world’s arable land, local production of fruit and vegetables remains small. The production landscape is fragmented, and modern mechanisation, agricultural techniques, seeds and storage facilities are lacking both the infrastructure and mentality inherited from Soviet times. Low production output results in Russia being a net fruit and vegetable importer. This is mentioned in a report from PMA.

Higher income Russians consume more fresh produce than lower income ones. Differences are most apparent for vegetables other than potatoes and particularly for fruit. Potato consumption varies least between different income groups. In other words, richer Russians consume up to 50% more potatoes; more than twice as much as other vegetables and almost three times more fruit than poorer Russians. Considerable growth in fruit consumption Growth in fruit consumption in Russia has been remarkable, close to doubling from 39kg per capita per year in 2004 to 74kg in 2012. The variety of fruit available has also greatly increased, mostly due to the rapid expansion of modern retailers, which attract customers with a sophisticated selection of common and more exotic fruit. Nevertheless, the overall per capita consumption of fruit remains at least half of that of developed countries. Apples, bananas, oranges, mandarins and grapes are the most popular fruits in Russia. Potatoes remain the most widely eaten vegetable Potatoes are the most popular vegetable in Russia.

The per capita consumption per year stood at approximately 65kg in 2012. Current consumption is down from 86kg in 2004, which was more than 200g per day and almost on a par with all other vegetables combined. However, with growth in disposable income, other produce is gradually replacing potatoes, although they remain the key staple for many Russians, particularly in lower income groups and rural areas. Cabbages, tomatoes, onions, beetroot, carrots and cucumber are other commonly eaten vegetables. 2012 estimates suggest that Russians ate as much as 24kg of tomatoes, 13kg of cucumbers and 16kg of onions per capita. Traditional grocery retail remains important, but losing ground to modern retail Traditional grocery retailers such as independent grocery stores and open markets accounted for a 43% value share in grocery retailers in 2012. This is a decline from 2011, when these channels had a 46% value share. Modern grocery has continued to stabilise its market shares and hypermarkets and supermarkets grew both in the number of outlets and value sales. Recent decades have seen the emergence of chained supermarkets and hypermarkets with notable expansion in Russia’s major cities, and together accounted for 88% value share in modern grocery retailers in 2012. Supermarkets / hypermarkets: the key fresh produce channel Supermarkets and hypermarkets are the key grocery retail channels for fruit and vegetables. In 2007, open markets were still the main channel, but the rapid development of modern retail and government endeavours to reduce informal trade contributed to a decline in their importance and the rise of supermarkets/hypermarkets. Open markets remain the key fresh produce channel outside the bigger cities, where modern retail is far less developed.

Steady consolidation in food service While the market remains strongly fragmented, consumer foodservice continues to consolidate in favour of chained players, with chains gaining share over independent stores every year. In 2012 chained players continued to place stronger focus on expansion in the regions of Russia as markets in Moscow and St Petersburg are already saturated. The most important vegetables in Russia Potatoes are the single most important vegetable in Russia with consumption volumes equal to the two thirds of consumption volumes of all other vegetables combined. In the face of economic difficulties and increasing price sensitivity, the demand for potatoes as well as other staple vegetables is expected to rebound at the expense of meat, fish and other more expensive foodstuffs. Tomato, cucumber and pepper consumption registered the fastest growth compared to previous years, and this trend is expected to continue, as Russians get more accustomed to greenhouse vegetables and increase their consumption during the off-season. Apples, bananas and citrus fruit dominate fruit consumption As local production is limited by climatic conditions and by production inefficiencies, an estimated two thirds of all fruit and one third of vegetables consumed in Russia are imported. Russia was the top global importer in 2012 in volume terms of apples, apricots, cherries, mandarins, onions, oranges, pears, plums and prunes.

It is also the world’s second largest importer of cabbages, grapes, lemons, peaches, nectarines and tomatoes; and the third largest importer of carrots, cucumbers, grapefruit and mushrooms. Overall, Russia was the third largest fruit and vegetable importer in volume terms in 2012, after the US and Germany. For logistical reason, imports consumed in the European part of Russia come from Europe and the Middle East, whereas a large share of produce sold in the eastern regions is imported from China. Personal growing On average, a third of vegetables and 10% of fruit consumed by households in 2012 were estimated to have grown in own gardens. Berries grow in considerable volumes in Russia, but few are commercially cultivated, as blueberries, cranberries and raspberries grow wild. In 2012, berry production volumes reached 709,800 metric tonnes; 27% of the total fruit production output. Given the expected increase in fruit prices and the drop in disposable incomes, Russians are expected to limit their non-essential fruit spending to the most common fruits, such as apples, bananas, oranges and mandarins, which are also usually cheaper.

Source: PMA