Pomegranate plants are also known by their scientific name of Punica granatum and originate from central Asia with early cultivation stretching from India to the Mediterranean Europe and North Africa.
The pomegranate fruit is rich in Polyphenols and the consumption of the beautiful pinkish to ruby red arils is thought to regulate blood pressure and keep the vascular system healthy. The punicalagins found in the fruit pulp is an antioxidant that specifically fights the hardening of arteries that aids blood circulation.
The commercial production of pomegranates in South Africa only really started to take off in the early 2000’s and as production increased and prospects looked up it was decided by the producers and exporters that a coordinating body should be established to better organize the industry players which included nurseries, growers, processors and exporters.
In 2009 Pomegranate Producers Association of South Africa (POMASA) was established to coordinate industry requirements and generic issues affecting the pomegranate industry.
The funding for the initiatives that were envisaged is now covered by a statutory levy imposed on each kilogram of pomegranates that is marketed in South Africa.
This applies to both imports and exports and all locally marketed fresh produce of both 1st and 2nd class as well as all fruit destined for the processing market for juice, pulp production, and for the extraction of the valuable arils.