US apple producers to target small towns in India

download (6).jpgSource : Economic Times 5 May 2017

SILIGURI: Despite being world’s fifth largest apple producer, India, has become an important target market for US Apple industry, world’s second largest producer of the fruit after China.

“Enormous size of Indian market hosts sky high-level hidden potential. Especially the smaller towns. We are eager to explore that,” said K Sunderlal, India representative of Washington Apple Commission (WAC).

Washington state leads United states in apple production, with a yearly value of around $2 billion, around 66 per cent of entire US national production. WAC, established in 1937 by Washington State Legislature shoulders the responsibility of advertising, promotion, education and market development for the fresh apple crop of Washington throughout the world.

As part of its new, five-year strategic plan, the WAC has taken initiative to focus sharper and spending higher in five key international markets including India.

As part of WAC’s India action plan, the commission is going to make its own presence felt in 89 Indian cities, barring the metros, through road shows and campaigns along with sales drive with special names.

“We have separate action plans for metros. Now special thrust is being given to Eastern and North Eastern India,” said S. Pal a WAC spokesman.

With very negligible amount of export, India consumes almost entire amount of its own production of 23 lakh ton along with an imported volume of 2.3 lakh ton. But, “The market is too unorganised that has left huge potential untapped, especially in the smaller towns. By utilizing a factional amount of that, we can generate a good market for Washington apples,” added Pal.

“But yes,” accepted Pal, “Being a large country and with grossly inadequate infrastructure, India is a tough turf.”

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