KOCHI: Pear imports become peer in the country with exporters across the globe targeting a growing demand for the fruit in India. According to figures published by the Indian government in 2015, India’s per consumption has doubled between 2001-2002 and 2015-2016 period, reaching 365000 tonnes and Mumbai is the biggest consumers of Pear in India.

Interestingly, India imported 25,266 tonnes of pear during April-November 2016 period. India’s pear imports grew by almost 35 per cent year-on-year in 2015 at 22,000 tonnes. Simply over 3000 tonnes more came to the country in this year in just eight months. Mumbai-based importer Yupaa had received first-ever shipment of Spanish pears recently.
“Indian Pears are priced between Rs 50 to Rs 150/kg, with recent entrant of BelOrta Belgian Conference Pear into the Indian market, are priced around 100-150 per kg. BelOrta expects to sell 1 million Euros worth of Belgian Conference Pear in India and USP of this Pear is that it’s seedless, no wastage in the fruit and is consumed completely at any stage of ripening, with an excellent shelf life, and can be stored for a long period,” Tarun Arora, Director, IG International, one of the leading fresh produce importer company in India.

There are total 10 different varieties of Pear that exists in the world. Till today, China dominates the world’s Pear market, producing almost 16 million tonnes. Other countries that fulfil the pear consumption in India are the US, Belgium, Argentina, Italy and Turkey. Incidentally, India also produces several varieties of pears such as Patharnakh (Sand Pear), Keiffer (P), China Pear, Max-Red Bartlett, William Bartlett, Hardy, Flemish Beauty, and Comice.
“Pear is now in major demand in the country. With more varieties coming especially from Europe, people have created a particular taste for the fruit. The stocks are being sold in a swift manner and it seems the demand will only increase going forward,” says Ashraf, a fruit retailer in Kochi.

The area under cultivation of pear is steadily increasing in North India. In Punjab, pear occupies an area of 2147 hectares. Cultivators require high chilling hours (900-1000) at higher hills of Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
While China remains the dominant producer of pears, comprising 75 per cent of total output, South Africa (26 per cent) and the US (11 per cent) accounted for the vast majority of supplies.