In a boost to agricultural exports, India has commenced shipments of juicy varieties of mangoes such as Kesar, Alphonso and Banganapalle to South Korea and Japan, considered high-value markets. Devendra Kumar Singh, chairman of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority (APEDA), who is currently in South Korea for a road show for promoting exports of mangoes, said the response has been very encouraging and “we may not meet the huge demand this season”.
Although the nod for ‘market access’ for mango exports to these two economically developed Asian countries was received last year, India could not export the fruit as the domestic season (April-June) was already over. According to Kaushal Khakhar, chief executive officer of Kay Bee Exports, the first consignment of mangoes sent to South Korea fetched price of $3-4 a kg. “This season, we anticipate around 50-100 tonne of exports from India and the next year onwards exports would pick up,” he told FE.
India has asked the South Korean government to provide more food inspectors for inspection of consignment prior to exports. “All mangoes consignments go through hot water treatment for making them free of fruit flies,” Khakhar said. India commenced mango exports to Japan in April. Meanwhile, exports to the European Union are picking up pace since last year following the slump in shipment following imposition of a ban by the EU on imports. The EU had imposed the ban in May 2015 after its trade authorities in Brussels had found 207 consignments of Indian fruits and vegetables to be infested with fruit flies — pests that are native to Indian soil. The ban was supposed to last till December 2015, but was lifted earlier for mangoes.
Officials said Indian mango exporters mandatorily give their products ‘hot water treatment’ before exporting them to the European market. The National Plant Protection Organisation has now made it mandatory for mangoes to undergo this treatment before they are given phyto-sanitary certificates.
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India’s shipment of mangoes to the US in the last three years had been around 270 tonne annually following setting up irradiation facilities which address concerns of US importers. Before 2007, Indian mangoes had for 17 years faced non-trade barriers, such as sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures, from the US, which feared pests like fruit flies and could come through mangoes.
According to the APEDA data, around 60% of mango exports in terms of volume go to the United Arab Emirates, while around 10% is shipped to the UK. Saudi Arabia and Nepal are other major export destinations for Indian mangoes. India cultivates mangoes in around 2.2 lakh hectare and the annual output is around 19 million tonne. The country accounts for close to 40% of the global mango production.