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Government has released an app to help Egyptian growers cultivate pomegranates

In Egypt the pomegranate season is going strong, with acreage growing every year as demand grows along with it. According to one Egyptian exporter, demand is expected to double in the upcoming weeks. An interesting development is the launch of an application by the government, which assists growers in cultivating their pomegranates with export quality.

Cultivating pomegranates grows ever more popular in Egypt, as acreage increases just about every year. According to Ahmed Sediek, executive director for Egyptian produce exporter Green Field for Export Agri Products, this is due to the increased popularity of Egyptian pomegranates: “The cultivated pomegranate area in Egypt this year is about 32,400 hectare and each year this increases. This is the result of high demand for the Egyptian pomegranates ever since restrictions and conditions were made by the government in order to protect the quality pomegranates. It means only the right quality products can be exported to the global markets, pomegranates that meet global quality standard. This year, I expect a great pomegranate season, as demanded quantity increases every week and proven quality for the early arrived exported products will duplicate the demand in the following weeks.”

Sediek states that the Egyptian government has tried to innovate by releasing an app on the Google Play store, which helps growers to cultivate pomegranates. “I’d like to point out that the Ministry of Agriculture and Land Reclamation, represented by the Agricultural Research Center, recently launched an electronic application on the “Google Play” mobile application store. This app provides integrated management of pomegranate crops. The application aims to familiarize the farmer with all the agricultural processes of the varieties spread in Egypt and fit its cultivation, then the establishment of the orchard, the method of cultivation and agricultural operations, as well as calculating the water and fertilizer needs. It also points the user to the right direction in identifying the most important diseases and insects that affect the pomegranate trees and fruits and how to combat them.”

As the pomegranate season was delayed by two weeks, the demand increased quickly, making it challenging to find the right pomegranates that were ready for export: “Volumes for pomegranates are too big this year, when compared to the previous year. The current season started early in some varieties like the 116, Wonderful and for Baldy varieties. It just started in week 39 and was delayed about two weeks to reach the accepted caliber and color. The weather affected our volumes, as we noticed a high demand and received requests from our clients since week 37 for the Baladi variety. Thus, the challenge was in collecting the required volumes of the raw fruits which meets the specifications, as most of the fruit had not reached the required coloration and caliber just yet. Our clients usually request the caliber to be 84mm +, and no less than 70% of red color on the fruit.” Sediek explains.

“Our greatest challenge this pomegranate season is to maximize the production capacity while keeping the same quality standards, which we always put in the top of our priorities to achieve the best satisfactions for our clients. Prices increased for the raw fruits at farms this week compared with the previous week prices. Last week one paid $0.40 per kg, while that price is now expected to rise to $0.48 per kg at the farm. This is caused by the high demand for the Egyptian pomegranates, as well as the optimal quality this season. We focus mostly on European countries, Russia, and Middle Eastern countries, however we would like to enter more European territories, Canada and Asian countries in the future!” he concludes.

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