Brussels, Jan 22 (IANS) The European Union on Friday welcomed the announcement of improved access to the Indian market for EU apple exports.
“Improved access to the Indian market represents another positive step in finding alternative markets for EU producers, in light of the ongoing difficult market situation,” said Phil Hogan, agriculture and rural development commissioner, in a statement here.
“Our efforts to break down any barriers to our agricultural exports and to open markets to our producers are ongoing, as part of the diplomatic offensive we are leading in 2016″,” he said in a statement.
While all access points were closed to apple imports since September 2015 with the exception of one port, as of this week, European producers can get their apples into the Indian market through the sea ports and airports in Kolkata, Chennai, Mumbai and Cochin, as well as in Delhi, he noted.
The import of apples was also allowed through India’s land borders.
EU exports of apples to India amounted to only around 7,000 tonnes in 2014, mainly from Italy, France and Belgium.
Although provisional figures for 2015 show an increase to around 11,000 tonnes, India has the potential to absorb a higher share of EU exports given its moderate domestic apple production (around 1.5 million tonnes in 2013, similar to Italy), said the statement.