INDIA MANGO EXPORTS : USA, Japan seek inspection of each facility before any shipment; govt agency feels these and other norms will choke supply to both
Stringent norms depulp mango export
Mango export this year is likely to decline, again due to stringent quality norms set by importing countries, including America and Japan, two important markets.
Despite a 12.4 per cent decline in volumes, exports of mangoes in general rose 26.2 per cent in value terms in 2012-13, to Rs 265 crore.
In volume, these were 55,585 tonnes in 2012-13, as compared to 63,441 tonnes the previous year.
Japanese authorities are emphasising on a mandatory Vapour Heat Treatment (VHT).
USA importers want strict pack house inspection (PHC) and handling.
In a letter to the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda), the Japanese authority has said it wants to send inspectors for supervision of the processing operation at each VHT facility in India. Imports from India were banned in 1986 because of suspected infestation by fruit flies. Japan lifted the ban in 2006 but exporters did not pursue the market aggressively. Only 67 tonnes were sent to Japan in 2011-12 and, with the VHP and other stringent norms, none at all in 2012-13.
“We have asked members to send us details of export houses and farmers, so that the Japanese Quarantine Authority can send their inspectors to assess the VHT facilities. But we presume the norm is stringent and difficult for Indian exporters to adhere to. Hence, we presume there will be no exports of mango to Japan this year as well,” said Vinod Kaul, deputy general manager and in charge of the horticulture section at Apeda.
The health ministry of Japan had in early July exempted inspection for chlorpyrifos, a chemical residue, in Indian mangoes. The VHT system is a non-chemical alternative to control and quarantine unwanted insects and fungi in perishable commodities and tropical fruits.
In the protocol signed between India and Japan, the latter accepts VHT mango varieties of Alphonso, Kesar, Langra, Chausa and Malika only from Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, UP and West Bengal.
American authorities, meanwhile, have also asked India to register all pack houses and farmers with the authorities here and in the US, with a weekly schedule of exports, for easy inspection and monitoring of Indian facilities.
Exports to the USA fell in quantity terms to 242 tonnes in 2012-13 from 353 tonnes the previous year; however, in value terms, shipments rose to Rs 5.8 crore from Rs 2.2 crore in the same period.
The United Arab Emirates and Britain are the two largest importers of mango from India — Rs 163 crore (37,599 tonnes) and Rs 32.5 crore (3,304 tonnes) in 2012-13, respectively.