West Bengal is a leading producer of mangoes but the export of this king of fruits remains negligible due to various infrastructural bottlenecks, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) DGM R K Mondal said here today. “There are various infrastructural shortcomings and lack of direct connectivity for export of vegetables and fruits. However, we hope to export 75-100 tonnes of mangoes from Bengal this season,” he said. But, a lot will depend on the union agricultural ministry’s early approval of a mango treatment plant at Malda district which has been promoted by the West Bengal government. Bengal government has set up a hot-water treatment in Malda, famous for its yield of quality mango, for the treatment of the fruit for exports. Government facility will help in treating a larger quantity of mango for exports.
“If approval comes within this month for the state government treatment facility then export of mango can touch 75-100 metric tonnes,” sources said. As of now, the total export of mangoes to Europe and the Middle East is about just 25 tonnes. This year mango export to Europe from India is expected to be 1500-2000 metric tonnes and Netherlands and the UK are the major markets. Bengal has sent a few consignments of mangoes this year to Europe as an alternate market since the ban on exporting Indian mangoes was lifted. Mango export from the state received a setback from Bangladesh which raised import duty on mango in the recent years to 50 per cent or Rs 29 a kg. APEDA is now attempting to promote higher shelf-life variety – Lakhanbhog mango to Dubai via sea-route to make it more competitive.
APEDA is now attempting to promote higher shelf-life variety – Lakhanbhog mango to Dubai via sea-route to make it more competitive. “We are planning to send a 10-tonne consignment of Lakhanbhog mango to Dubai from Mumbai port to Dubai through the sea route,” Mondal said. Export through Kolkata Port is not possible due to longer travel time to Dubai of 15 days. Himsagar is one of the leading variety of mango for exports.