The demand for mangoes is high from the US where there is a large Gujarati community that prefers kesar over alphonso, the official said.
Alphonso mango exports from Maharashtra are on the decline, top officials of the Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board ( MSAMB) said. The Geographical Indication (GI) tag could become a major aspect for export and the Marketing Board has therefore decided to come up with several incentives for GI products to encourage mango and other agriculture commodity exports from the state, said Sunil Pawar, MD, MSAMB.
The government has granted Geographical Indication (GI) tag to the alphonso mango from Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and other adjoining areas, a move that will help identify the authenticity of this variety of fruit.
A GI is a sign used on products that have a specific geographical origin and possess qualities or a reputation that are due to that origin. Such a name conveys an assurance of quality and distinctiveness which is essentially attributable to its origin in that defined geographical locality.
The king of mangoes, Alphonso, better known as ‘Hapus’ in Maharashtra, is in demand in domestic and international markets for its taste, pleasant fragrance and vibrant colour. It has long been one of the world’s most popular fruits and is exported to various countries including Japan, Korea and Europe.New markets such as the US and Australia have recently opened up.
Of late, however, the demand for kesar variety of mango has been higher than alphonso, senior officials of the marketing board said. “Firstly, there is no extra premium for alphonso and good quality kesar is available at much cheaper rates. At the beginning of the season alphonso commands very high rates in the range of Rs 1,400 to Rs 1,500 per kg while kesar is available at Rs 75 to Rs 150 per kg,” the official said.
The demand for mangoes is high from the US where there is a large Gujarati community that prefers kesar over alphonso, the official said. Of the total mango exports from the country, kesar accounts for 50-55%, bangnapalli accounts for some 30% of the export, hapus or alphonso another 13-15% and the remaining 40 other varieties account for the last 9-10% of the total outbound shipment.
The State Marketing Board used to give a grant of Rs 30,000 per container for export by the sea route. The scheme however has come to a close and efforts are on to revive the scheme, officials said. Mango growers from Pakistan get an export subsidy from their government. Indian mango farmers are seeking a similar incentive from the government.
Production of mangoes is expected to be around 30 to 40 % this year and the fruits are likely to arrive in the market only by the end of April unlike mid-March every year. The alphonso mango from the Konkan region of Maharashtra has a Geographical Indication tag and is also popular in India and around the world with over 50,000 tonne of this variety being exported each year.
Meanwhile, the Marketing Board is gearing up for exports by readying its facilities and requisitioning inspectors from US, Japan and Korea. At least 4,336 mango gorwers from alphonso growing regions across the state have registered under ‘MangoNet’ — an online traceability system that registers mango growers and exporters and enable importers and supermarkets in the European Union to check complete details of their shipments — on the lines of the successful ‘Grapenet’. There are some 25,000 mango growers in the state. Apeda has made it mandatory for exporters to pick mangoes for export only from growers