2016 MANGO SEASON : India’s first batch of season’s mango exports reaches US, European shores

Monday, 25 April, 2016, 08 : 00 AM [IST]

Our Bureau, Mumbai

India has commenced mango exports to the United States and Europe with MSAMB's Export Facilitation Centre shipping out the first batch on April 14 following approvals from the United States Food and Drug Administration (USFDA) and European Union (EU).

D M Sable, additional general manager, Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB), informs,
“Till date, we have exported around 40 metric tonne of mangoes to EU, 12 metric tonne to New Zealand and around 14 metric tonne to USA.”

He adds, “We received all the necessary clearances on April 1. On April 14, we sent our first batch of exports to USA, the EU and others. The demand for our mangoes is very high, so we have started exporting two batches of the fruit daily.”

Safe Exports

In tune with the norms set up by US and EU authorities for ensuring that consignments are free of pests and insects and do not have any other issues, MSAMB has come up with a hot water treatment (HWT) facility in Mumbai. Further, an irradiation centre set up by BARC (Bhabha Atomic Research Centre) for onions but used for mangoes and another centre established in Vashi for mangoes, were being utilised for adherence to the norms.

In this regard, Sable states,
“Having short shelf life, most of mango varieties cannot be stored at low temperature below 13 degree celsius and it becomes very difficult to export the fruit to international markets. To ensure exports are safe, the new facility of HWT to the fruit has resumed its operations on Friday. This facility is based in Goregaon, Mumbai, which will not only make fruit free from insect / pests and disease but the method is also comparatively cheaper.”

He points out, “The HWT facility is exclusively introduced for EU export operations.”
Sable assured that officials from the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) from United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) thoroughly inspected MSAMB's irradiation facilities and fruits in providing clearances.

Proximity Issues

As far as exporters favouring the irradiation facility at Mumbai rather than the one in Nasik is concerned, Sable states, earlier,
“The Bhabha Atomic Research Centre had set up an irradiation centre at Lasalgaon, Nasik, Maharashtra, which was set up for onion irradiation. This facility is also used by some of the exporters for irradiation of mangoes but becomes more expensive as it is away from the port locations like those in Mumbai.”

He further states,
“Here in Vashi, many exporters from South India and some Western states like Gujarat assemble, which is popular for its 'Kesari' variant of mango with their mango export consignments for irradiation. Proximity of Vashi's irradiation unit to the airports makes it more convenient for the exporters to bring their produce here.”

Meanwhile, MSAMB has set the target of 400 metric tonne of mango irradiation this year on receiving clearances from USFDA.