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INDIA : Malihabadi mangoes to get an organic makeover thanks to Japanese financing

Arunav Sinha,TNN | Feb 17, 2015, 02.31 PM IST

READ MORE Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation|Mango Processing Unit|Mango Farmers|Malihabadi-Famed Mangoes|Malihabad

LUCKNOW: The Malihabadi-famed mangoes, which have made their presence felt throughout the globe, may soon get an organic makeover which will not only boost their export potential but also give a fillip to the commercial activities associated with the various products of this variety such as organic mango juice or organic pickles.

 Senior officials of directorate of institutional finance have confirmed that a Japanese bank has reportedly agreed to finance this project, which will have a wide ranging impact on the lives of the mango farmers of in the mango-belt consisting of Lucknow, Unnao and Kannauj. 

Speaking to TOI, Shiv Singh Yadav, director of institutional finance, said, "The primary target of this project is to mitigate the losses in form of the first crop incurred to the mango growers, as due to inclement weather, 30-40% of the first crop is lost, forcing the farmer to sell his crop at a very low price."

Yadav further stated that district officials (of Lucknow, Unnao and Kannauj) would be undertaking a month-long survey to ascertain the exact area, which is covered by mango plantation, so that a comprehensive plan could be chalked out.

Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC), a Japanese bank has been made the nodal bank in this regard, and the mango processing unit would be set-up using Japanese funding.

 The Japanese team are scheduled to meet the mango growers in the end of February, said the director of institutional finance, and added, "The main aim of this project is to make the first crop productive, while enhancing the export potential of the second crop. And instead of chemical fertilisers, we would use Gaumootra (cow's urine) and earthworm's vermin-compost."

The organic mangoes are likely to be available in the market by March 2016, informed the director of institutional finance, and added,
"Once organic mangoes arrive in the market, organic mango pickles, organic mango juices (sans preservatives) and low sugar juices, would be available to the public. All these edible items too would be of world fame, and in the future, we may to go for GI (geographical indication) tag for the Malihabadi mango pickle." 

Subsequently, the mango growers would be motivated to grow turmeric, ginger and peas in the mango orchards, under the World Bank-funded DASP (Diversified Agriculture Support Project). Awareness in this regard would be spread by NABARD and RRBs (regional rural banks), said Shiv Singh Yadav. He also added that the scale of financing would also be widened throughout the state. 

According to rough estimates, Malihabad has nearly 30,000 hectares of land under cultivation. 

In 2013, it accounted for nearly 12.5% of the mangoes produced from UP, the second largest mango producing state in India after Andhra Pradesh. Malihabad has some of the oldest mango trees. 

** The groves are owned by families who have been in the mango-growing business for years, some even for a 100 or 200 years. 

** There are 14 mango belts in UP. 

Malihabadi Dussehri was given GI tag in 2009.

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This unique service by DHL Express, the world’s leading express company, allows customers to send mangoes from India across the world to the following countries Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Hong Kong, Italy, Luxemburg, Maldives, Netherlands, Norway, Oman, Qatar Singapore, Switzerland and Sweden.

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