Nile Fruits Horticultural Company (NFC), an Egyptian partnership between Technogreen, Agrostar, Fata and Yara companies, recently finalized a deal with Grapa to license the ARRA varieties in Egypt. The deal grants NFC the agency for the ARRA varieties in Egypt. It also provides NFC with the exclusive rights to propagate the ARRA plant material as well as test and evaluate future selections of ARRA varieties.
“We see Egypt’s great importance in the commercialization of the ARRA varieties and we believe that in the future, Egypt will be a major supplier of the ARRA varieties to the main markets throughout the world” says Rafi Karniel, Managing Director of Grapa, who has the worldwide commercialization rights for the ARRA varieties.
“We have big expectations for Egypt,” said Shachar Karniel, breeder of the ARRA varieties. “It’s a country of mass production with lots of water, good soil and a good labor supply.” He added that the opportunity of the partnership is beneficial for the promotion of the ARRA varieties. NFC sees the deal as equally beneficial thanks to the possibilities the ARRA grape varieties have to offer.
“The future is headed toward ARRA varieties,” said Mohamed Shams, Export Director of Technogreen. “ARRA varieties have lots of potential because they have good size, good brix levels, they’re easy to handle and they’re not expensive to grow.” He mentioned that NFC currently grows between 5,000 and 6,000 tons of grapes annually, most of which will be converted to ARRA varieties in the future.
In addition to growing ARRA grapes, NFC will offer technical support to ARRA growers in Egypt and provide beneficial export possibilities for their ARRA produce. The plan is to guarantee a market for all ARRA grapes so smaller growers will have support increasing their production.
“We have about 250 hectare planted in Egypt right now,” said Shams. “But the goal is to have more than 1000 hectares planted within five years.” The increase of hectares will include several different ARRA varieties with the goal being a major part of the year round ARRA supply.
“Our strategy is to have ARRA grapes planted all over the world so that the name becomes internationally-recognized” said John Giumarra, Vice President of Giumarra Vineyards from California, whose company developed the ARRA grapes. “With the ARRA varieties, we’ll be in business 365 days out of the year, so it’s very exciting.”
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