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Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Halted by pandemic, Indian mangoes to reach US market after two years

🔴 The phytosanitary inspector, who oversees the process of irradiation of mangoes, has not been able to travel to the country in the last two years, due to the pandemic.

Written by Parthasarathi Biswas | Pune |
Updated: January 20, 2022 4:33:13 am
indian mangoes exported to US covid-19Mango growers from Konkan, who claim that their product is better in terms of taste and texture, have taken objection to this rampant usage of the term 'Alphonso'. (Express File)

After a gap of two years, Indian mangoes would cross the seas again and head to the United States of America. Sunil Pawar, Managing Director of the Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) said this would be possible as the USA has agreed to send its phytosanitary inspector to oversee the process.

The Covid-19 pandemic had brought to a halt the export of mangoes to the USA, which had been emerging as a preferred destination. As per the norms, the fruit has to be irradiated before it is shipped out of the country. A phytosanitary inspector from the destination country oversees the process. However, the inspector has not been able to travel in the last two years, due to the pandemic and subsequent suspension of flights. Last year, the US government had sought on-site inspection, but Indian exporters did not agree to this given the risk involved.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Pawar said, “This year the phytosanitary inspector would be present for the inspection”. Besides, Indian mangoes had figured in the bilateral trade deals signed with the USA.

Indian varieties, especially Hapus or Alphonso from the Konkan coast of Maharashtra, are popular in the overseas market. Normally around 48,000-50,000 tonnes are exported every year, but the figure fell by half in the last two years due to the pandemic and consequent disruption in logistics. Pawar said this year they expect a bumper crop in the Konkan coast so exports should pick up.

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Arab countries are the biggest export destination for Indian mangoes. Besides the USA, the European Union and Russia are other important markets. Exporters opine that while the USA is a growing market, the other markets have reached saturation.

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