The US is a high-value market for mango exporters as a pack of Indian mangoes this year fetched a price in the range of $ 25 - 29 compared to $ 5 - 6 realised for mangoes from south American countries such as Brazil and Mexico.
With the setting up of irradiation facilities at Lasalgaon (Nasik), India's mango exports to US is set to cross 300-tonne mark this year against 209 tonne shipped last year. At present, the Lasalgaon irradiation facility has a processing capacity of 10-15 tonne a day.
An official with Agricultural & Processed Foods Export Development Authority (APEDA) told FE with the setting up second irradiation facility at Navi Mumbai later this year will boost the mango export further next year. Exotic mangoes such as Kesar and Alphonso in small quantities are being exported to US since 2007.
Although volume-wise it's still low, yet realisation is higher. This would force Indian exporters to adhere to US' strict standards for fruits and vegetable import and compete with other exporters, the APEDA official said.
During last few years, exporters have been targetting US cities such as New Jersey and New York for shipping exotic mangoes varieties from India.
This year, exporters have tied up with supplier in Hudson, Miami and San Francisco for mango exports.
Importing countries such as US and Japan have mandated irradiation and vapour heat treatment for fruits and vegetables imports
The export of mango to the US was halted few years back because of the fear of presence of weevils and fruit fly in the consignment.
The US Food and Drug Administration wanted India to have irradiation facility to get rid of weevils and fruit fly problems instead of the commonly used vapor heat treatment. India had been pushing hard to make its presence felt in the US market after resumption of export ever since they were banned in 1989 over problems with pests such as fruit flies and weevils. The issue was also taken up during the visit of then US President George Bush to India in 2006.
Meanwhile, India has commenced exports of mangoes to New Zealand as well this year. About 45 tonne of mangoes have been shipped to New Zealand.
At present, India still relies mainly on traditional markets such as the Middle East United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and Bangladesh and the UK for exporting its mangoes. A majority of the consumers of Indian mangoes are non-resident Indians (NRIs).