The pomegranate has a long history in the mythology of many cultures and its healthy qualities are renowned.
The fruit is rich in vitamins (E, C, A) and folic acid while recent research work indicates that the pomegranate is a potential asset in preventing heart attacks and cancer.
Pomegranate juice contains an anti-oxidant that is particularly strong and is more effective in preventing heart attacks than red wine, green tea or tomatoes.
Currently, two research groups are working in Israel on the development of health treatments and products based on pomegranates.
Apart from simply eating the fresh pomegranates this pleasant and tasty fruit has many other uses, culinary and aesthetic (as an addition to salads, in cooking, as juice, for decorations, in health products, as raw material for industrial products such as cosmetics and dyes).
The fruit can be well preserved.
Orchards' area: Approximately 2,500 hectares planted throughout the entire country.
Growing areas: About 19% of the orchards especially with the Wonderful variety, are located in the north (Galilee, Golan Heights, Hula Valley), 25% in the moshavot (cooperative villages) in the Shomron region (area around Zichron Yaakov and the Sharon district), and 56% in Southern Israel and the Negev.
Harvest size: 60,000 tons (2013), of which about 30,000 tons were earmarked for export.
Varieties: Wonderful 60% of the pomegranate trees bearing fruit.
Additional varieties: 116 and Kamel are mid-season varieties, about 10% of the total crop.
Acco, Shani, Emek and Rosh-Pered – 30-35% of the produce.
Fruit seasons: The early varieties in August, the mid-season varieties in October while the peak season runs from October to March.
Picking seasons: The Emek, Acco and Shani varieties from July until the end of August; the 116/17 variety is picked at the end of August and in early September; Wonderful, which is the main variety, in early October.
Export destinations: In 2013, about 20,000 tons or 38% of the crop were exported.
In 2012, about 56% of the overall exports were sent to countries in Western and Central Europe (mainly to the European Union and Switzerland), another 40% approximately went to Eastern European countries (primarily to Russia and the Ukraine) and the remainder to other destinations (mainly in Canada, Jordan, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka).
The industry's standards: Global G.A.P. All the leading fruit exporting companies handle the pomegranates.
Sources of information: Izchak Costo, Senior fruit orchards advisor on pomegranates, Agricultural Extension Service of Israel, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Source: Semi-annual Overview - July 2013 - Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Research, Economy and Strategy Division, p. 7 Economic and marketing aspects of pomegranate fruit and grains – local market and exports – Beni Yeshurin, Agricultural Extension Service of Israel, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. Yael Kachal, market research unit, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development