India is one of the largest banana exporters in the world. Daily, thousands of tonnes of bananas are getting exported to foreign countries mostly via sea.
Bananas are packed in shipping containers for export. For packaging, telescopic boxes, fibre boxes and cardboard boxes are used. The boxes will be of the different thickness on all the four sides. It will be lined with a foam pad or foam sheet. There will be 10 mm holes on its sides for air passage. The final packed box will weigh approximately 13 kg.
Bananas are transported in the domestic market as full bunches in trucks and are ripened at the destination and then cut into hands and transported in plastic crates.
Storage and transport
From tropical countries where bananas are cultivated to world markets, the fruit gets transported over long distances. As we all know it is a perishable commodity with the minimum shelf life. To prevent ripening and to obtain maximum shelf life, before the fruit is mature they are harvested.
Careful handling is required and it is transported to ports immediately after harvesting. During shipping, it is refrigerated so that it won’t ripen before reaching its destination. This method is followed by exporters to prevent the bananas from producing ethylene, their natural ripening agent.
This technology allows storage and transport for 3–4 weeks at 13 °C (55 °F). Bananas after reaching their destination are stored at about 16 °C and using a little concentration of ethylene it is treated. The fruit begins to ripen after a few days and is distributed for final sale.
You cannot store unripe bananas in home refrigerators because they will never get ripen. If you keep ripe bananas in a refrigerator you can extend their shelf life.
To speed up the ripening process, put them in a brown paper bag with a tomato or apple overnight.
Even at high temperatures, the fruit’s life is extended, thanks to the carbon dioxide produced by bananas and ethylene absorbents.
By including an ethylene absorbent while packing a banana in a polyethene bag this effect can be exploited. A band or string is used to seal the bag.
This treatment can extend the shelf life of banana for up to 3–4 weeks without any refrigeration.
Documents required for export
To export banana, various documents are needed. You need a packing list, invoice, mate receipt, certificate of origin, shipment related documents, Shipping Bill, Airway Bill, Bill of handing, Letter of Credit (L/C) Documents related to Payment, and Bill of Exchange.
It is also essential to have documents related to the quality of the goods. For instance, health certificate, Phytosanitary Certificate, GLOBALGAP Certification, and Organic Certification are compulsory.
Foreign Exchange Regulations related documents, and RBI-related documents, which is an exporter’s assurance to RBI that the proceeds of goods will reach the destination within 180 days from the shipment date, are a must. That’s not all. Exporters also need Bank Realization Certification (BRC), which is a Foreign Exchange Bank’s suggestion after the realisation of payment against export by an importer.