banana and apple cold storage centre with ripening facility in Azadpur Mandi (wholesale market), having a handling capacity 60 tonne a day.
Anil Gupta, Chairman and Managing Director, Concor, said this in a conference here on Tuesday. The facility is can be used throughout the year barring January and February, and the facility is expected to be profitable.
Specifically, the facility has fruit ripening chambers, cold storage chambers and banana washing tanks. The facility can be used by farmers, traders and retailers.
This is the first time that Concor is getting into handling banana and apple, shared AlliRani, Director-Finance, Concor. This perishable cargo centre, located near a railhead, is Concor’s venture, shared Yashpal, Director-export-import, Concor.
Concor’s subsidiary – Fresh and Healthy Enterprises Ltd – handles apples, kinnow and grapes in Himachal Pradesh. Launching the facility, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said that India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables, but a lot of cargo gets damaged due to lack of handling facilities.
Signatory from India
Signatory from Mauritius
Memorandum of Understanding between India and Republic of Mauritius in the field of Ocean Economy
This MoU will provide an extensive framework for cooperation in the field of Ocean Economy, a novel and critical area of sustainable development in the Indian Ocean Region. It provides for mutually beneficial cooperation for exploration and capacity development in the field of marine resources, fisheries, green tourism, research and development of ocean technology, exchange of experts and other related activities
Mr. Navtej Sarna, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs
Mr. Sateeaved Seebaluck, Secretary to the Cabinet
Programme for Cultural Cooperation between the Republic of India and the Republic of Mauritius for the year 2015-18
India and Mauritius share unique bonds based on our shared cultural heritage and traditions. This programme will provide for enhanced bilateral cooperation in this field for the term 2015-2018. The programme, inter alia, envisages exchange of cultural troupes, training in fine arts, organization of cultural exhibitions, preservation of cultural heritage, promotion of Indian languages, exchange of students, etc. This programme will also enhance greater people-to-people participation between the two countries
Protocol between the Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture of Republic of India and the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security of Republic of Mauritius for the importation of fresh mango from India
The aim of this Protocol is to facilitate importation of fresh mango fruits from India by Mauritius so that our Mauritian brethren can also relish the flavor of the world-renowned Indian mangoes.
Memorandum of Understanding for the Improvement in Sea and Air Transportation Facilities at Agalega Island of Mauritius
This MoU provides for setting up and upgradation of infrastructure for improving sea and air connectivity at the Outer Island of Mauritius which will go a long way in ameliorating the condition of the inhabitants of this remote Island. These facilities will enhance the capabilities of the Mauritian Defence Forces in safeguarding their interests in the Outer Island.
MoU on Cooperation in the field of Traditional System of Medicine and Homeopathy
This MoU will promote cooperation in the field of traditional system of health and medicine between the two countries which already share these traditions due to our unique historical and cultural ties. It envisages exchange of experts, supply of traditional medicinal substances, joint research and development and recognition of the traditional systems of health and medicine in both countries. It also aims at promotion and popularization of the various Indian traditional systems which fall under AYUSH.
The government is getting ready to start the export of mangoes from the State to the West. Currently, not one mango from the State lands up in supermarket shelves outside the country.
Recognising the potential of export of the king of fruits — whose production had touched eight lakh tonnes last year — the Karnataka Agriculture Business Development Corporation had concluded a series of workshops elaborating on the cultivation techniques needed for “international quality”.
In the preceding years, the nearest irradiation centre — a preservation treatment to remove pests — was in Maharashtra. This year onwards, farmers in the State have access to a food park in Malur where the facility has been developed.
Additional Director (Fruits and Flowers) M. Parashiva Murthy said nearly 150 farmers have been chosen, while discussions had started with around 10 exporters.
However, the State may have to wait to resume exports to European Union, which had recently expressed willingness to lift the ban on import of mangoes from India. “The Centre has told us to be careful when exporting to Europe. As this is the first time, we do not want a problematic consignment from here that may lead to another ban,” said Mr. Murthy.
Though believing exports may lift the flagging industry, K. Srinivas Gowda, who is on the committee to explore exports from the State, said, “The number chosen from export is negligible compared to the number of mango growers. This is a start, but has to pick up to impact the industry here.”
Maharashtra's sweet delicacy — Alphonso mangoes — would go to a new destination this year. The Union government is in talks with South Korea to start export of the Alphonso and other varieties of Indian mangoes this season.
The government is also exploring markets for Indian mangoes in some other "hassle-less" countries. The move comes in the backdrop of the delay in the European Union (EU) notifying about lifting the ban on mangoes from India which was imposed in 2014. The informal announcement of lifting the ban was made by the EU three weeks back.
JP Singh, joint director (Entomolgy), ministry of agriculture, told dna: "As the EU notification is still awaited, we are in talks with the South Korean government; and hopefully, things would be finalised within a month. We are also looking at some other hassle-less countries for our mangoes."
The season of Alphonso and some other varieties produced in coastal and southern areas starts by March.
The EU had imposed the ban on May 1 last year, after its trade authorities in Brussels found 207 consignments of Indian fruits and vegetables to be infested with fruit flies — pests that are native to Indian soil but that could infest and damage European crops.
The ban was supposed to last until December 2015, but various agencies under the government of India have been working hard to meet the EU's import requirements and have the ban revoked much earlier. The Indian government has pledged that all food exports would be sent from APEDA-recognised pack houses.
After nearly nine months of persistent persuasion by India, the EU finally lifted its ban on the import of Indian mangoes on January 20. The central government pushed the EU to send an inspection team to audit Indian packing houses in September 2014 following which the ban was lifted. However, a notification in this regard is yet to come.
India exports nearly 4,000 tonnes of mangoes every year. Of this, 60% goes to West Asia. US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand are also significant importers. The export to EU is estimated to have a share of over 10%. The government thinks this can easily be filled by South Korea.
India Inc backs FSA
Backing the food security law in the country, the All India Association of Indian Industries has extended its cooperation to the Union government in implementing the Food Security Act (FSA) not only across the country but also across ASEAN countries. Only five states in India have implemented FSA, passed in 2013. A national-level conference in this regard was organised at World Trade Centre on Thursday, which was attended by the top officials from the ministries of external affairs and agriculture, the consul generals of 10 ASEAN countries. AIAI president Vijay Kalantri said, "Some parts of India is food surplus and some are food deficit. Food security aims to bridge this gap so as no person goes hungry. Similarly, India has to work closely with ASEAN countries, many of which are facing same regional surplus-deficit issue."
Officials of the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO) of the European Union (EU) are slated to visit India during the first week of September. Their first stop would be Mumbai, where they are set to review the phytosanitary measures put in place by India for fruits and vegetables.
The visit comes in the wake of the import ban imposed by the EU in the last week of March on alphonso mangoes, brinjal, bitter gourd, snake gourd and taro from India, with effect from May 1. During the visit, India will pitch for lifting of the ban which, exporters claim, has dented the country’s image globally.
The ban was imposed citing significant shortcomings in the phytosanitary certification system, after 207 consignments of fruits and vegetables from India were found to be contaminated by pests, including fruit flies.
“The FVO officials will first go to Mumbai and then to Gujarat. They will review the system put in place by Apeda to see if the ban can be lifted this year itself. India has strongly told them that the phytosanitary certification is being done only through Apeda-approved packhouses,” an official said.
Alphonso mangoes account for 50 per cent of the total mango export. In 2013-14, India exported 3,933 tonnes worth Rs 5,022 lakh of mangoes, while it exported 3,890 tonnes worth Rs 3,559 lakh in 2012-13.
Even before the ban, the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda), in a notification on March 14, had asked all exporters to route shipments of fresh fruits and vegetables through APEDA-approved pack houses, where it would be monitored by plant quarantine personnel. The notification was effective from April 1 but, the source said, even before monitoring the effectiveness of the new system, the EU banned five items from India.
The Apeda, following the ban, told the EU about the new system and also informed it about the interim arrangement, wherein an exclusive area for inspection and certification work “has been established at the Mumbai airport from where major export to the EU countries takes place”.
As per an audit report by the FVO last year, India did take note of quality concerns raised in its export of plant and plant products, and had informed the intergovernmental body last August about the new quality control mechanism to be effective from April 1.
There's one question every restaurateur is fielding right now: When will you start serving your mango delicacies. With summer setting in, it's time to relish the king of fruits.
From authentic delicacies by Gujarati restaurant chains to mango martinis in continental restaurants and even mango-flavoured donuts, the mango is taking on new shapes to please the Indian palate and raise sales margins for businesses.
"We were supposed to start our mango festival on Tuesday but there was a delay in processing the pulp, so we'll start in a couple of days. So many customers have called asking for mango dishes," said Aji Nair, vice-president, Mirah Hospitality, which runs Khandani Rajdhani, the vegetarian thali restaurant chain.The chain sells around 3.78 lakh thalis every month across 30 outlets in India. "During April and May, we hope to raise it to 4.2 lakh," Nair said.
That increase of around 11% is expected because of the inclusion of sweet and sour mango delicacies in the platter. "We have created 10 new mango-based vegetable preparations and 10 new sweets, including mango pulao and mango dal dhokli (Gujarati dal)," he said.
Donut chain Mad Over Donuts has introduced three mango-flavoured donuts. "We have been selling mango-flavoured donuts for four years and the Super Mango Donut with a slice of the fruit is a best seller in the category," said Tarak Bhattacharya, COO, Mad Over Donuts. Nearly 20% of the chain's sales in April and May come from mango-flavoured treats and this year would be no exception, he said.
Sales at many food outlets peak during November-December with the onset of the festive season. This is followed by a dip in February during examinations, and summer is time for fun again.
"Footfalls are lower in summer because of vacations but events like mango festivals and promotions compensate for the loss. Diners are adventurous and are on the lookout for new food options," said Nityanand Shetty, director, Pebbles, a fine dining restaurant chain in Mumbai and Bangalore. The restaurant has introduced a mango-based kebab in its starters and mango murgh Rajasthani in its main course this year. "Mango-based food and drink items are one of the top 10 items in terms of sales during April and May," Shetty said.
Even ecommerce sites aren't far behind. Mumbai-based online retailer LocalBanya is promising to deliver organic mangoes later this month and has already started taking orders. "We will be selling kesar, Alphonso and vanraj varieties. Mangoes are likely to be the top-selling item in our fruit and vegetable category with one-fourth of the sale coming from this fruit alone," Rashi Choudhary, chief operating officer and co-founder, LocalBanya, said.
While prices of mangoes have shot up by 22% compared to last year, food chains and retailers remain nonplussed. "The season has just commenced and prices will stabilize soon. While premium varieties are selling at Rs 1,100 to Rs 1,200 for a dozen in retail outlets in Mumbai, this will come down to Rs 250 to Rs 300 for a dozen as more produce fills the shelves," Choudhary said.
March heat may have left people complaining but to mango growers it's a reason to rejoice. The ample flowering of mango trees in their orchards filled them with a hope of brisk business this time. To people in Lucknow, it means, more mangoes at lesser price!
Given the friendly weather, UP mango growers are hopeful of bumper crop this season. "If we do not face recurrent weather disturbances, there's going to be a good crop," said president of mango growers' association Insram Ali.
The flowering, under ideal conditions, starts by March, and, this year, mango crop has kept its date. In case of prolonged winters or erratic rain, however, flowering could get delayed. Change in weather, like that witnessed on Monday, can destroy flowers, if it recurs.
Hot and dry weather is must for ripening of mangoes. Though mango growers agree that weather can always damage the crop, ample flowering of trees shows there will be a good crop in Maal-Malihabad mango belt of the state.
Last year, 5 lakh metric tonnes of mango was produced in the belt. This year, production might be even higher.
"If all goes well on weather front, fruit would start ripening and by May-end mangoes will hit the market," said farmer Surendra Kumar Rawat from Kasmandi Kalan village of Malihabad.
Though crop was good last year, production was hit hard due to late flowering and fruiting given the weather swings.
Malihabad-Kakori-Maal belt, which produces famous Dussehri and has about 30 to 35,000 hectare area dedicated to mango production, comprising 30-40% of annual mango production in Uttar Pradesh.
It is the biggest producer of mangoes, with 90% produce being Dussehri. There are 14 to 15 mango belts in the state.
Padmashree Haji Kalimullah of Malihabad is waiting eagerly to introduce to mango connoisseurs his latest yet-to-be-named mango innovation, a cross between the desi 'Husn-e-Aara' and the popular Dussehri.
"I crossed the flowers of the two varieties three years ago. This year, I am expecting the fruit," he said. Ample flowering of mango trees in his orchard has given the man a hope that he will introduce at least five new varieties of mangoes this time, provided weather remains conducive.
Mango export is not always sweet, as exporters to the US, Australia and Japan have found out. The quantum of exports to these destinations have been on a decline for the second year in a row. And the beneficiaries of this decline in Indian exports are Pakistan and Mexico.
The reasons for the decline include lack of awareness about the various varieties of mangoes available in the country, besides a freak weather condition this year that had largely affected yield of the popular Alphonso variety, according those in the export business.
The Karnataka Agriculture Produce Export Corporation is trying to counter the problem by planning market development activities in the USA, Japan and Australia to inform them of other varieties. "Mexico poses stiff competition in the US markets with their mangoes. Indian mangoes are far superior to them in quality, we have to create this awareness," an official told Express.
L Shanmugavel, proprietor of S S Exports said, "The quality of our mangoes have been affected due to bad weather conditions. Each Alphonso should weigh at least 350 gm, but due to excess heat most of them are less than 250 gm this year and cannot be exported. Secondly, Pakistan offers a better price for importers. If our export price for a certain variety is `60, they sell it at `35."
India began to export mangoes to US, Australia and Japan after a considerable tussle to lift import bans. But Japan, which imported `86.43 lakh worth of mangoes in 2011-12, did not import any at all last year.
As per statistics on the Agricultural and processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) website, India exported 3,53,177 kg of mangoes to the US in 2011-12 which declined to 2,42,204 kg in 2012-13. Australia imported 3,610 kg in 2011-12 which fell to 1,570 kg this fiscal.
The KAPEC official contended that a lot of effort had gone into setting up markets in the US, Japan and Australia. "We need a decent profit from these countries in order to sell, but that is not happening. If we have commercially successful markets in Europe, we ought to be able to export successfully to Japan, the USA and Australia," he contended. But all hope may not be lost yet. H V Hittalmani, former additional director of Horticulture Department said: "Despite 2013-14 being an off-year for mangoes, the situation could revive with a good monsoon and the yields could be better. The mangoes from Kolar and Chikballapur region are not of export quality, but those from Belgaum, Hubli and Dharwad can be exported as the produce will be good because of rich soil conditions there." Dr Abraham Verghese, Director, National Bureau of Agriculturally Important Insects, Bangalore, pointed out that each importing country has its own specifications and quarantine requirements, which push up export overheads.
"Japan insists on mangoes being subjected to Vapour Heat Treatment (VHT). The USA and Australia buy only irradiated fruits while other countries specify hot water treatment. We would like to comply with the rules so that we can sell our fruits in these countries at a premium price," he contended.
Exports to the United Arab Emirates earned the country a revenue of `162.86 crore last year. Other top consumers of mango from India are the UK, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Bangladesh, Nepal, the USA, Singapore and Oman, generating a total revenue of `251.48 crore.
The rich mangoes of India, especially Dussehri breed of Malihabad mangoes seem to have a huge fan following even in foreign countries. Ambassadors and high commissioners of more than 10 countries would be gathering in a town of Malihabad on June 29 to enjoy a 'mango party'.
The town has not been revealed yet. Malihabad is 30 km from Lucknow.
This event 'Ek Shaam Malihabadi Dussehri Ke Naam' (An evening dedicated to Malihabad's Dussehri) would be hosted by the Mango Grower Association of India. The programme is aimed at earning popularity for Dussehri all across the globe and also seeking government's assistance for Mango growers and exporters of the country.
The association would also provide Dussehri mango saplings to the foreign diplomats and encourage them to promote its cultivation in their countries as well. The diplomats would be coming from different countries like Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, Trinidad and Tobago, Algeria, Fiji, Brunei, Kazakhstan and Nigeria, etc.
Association's spokesperson informed that the Union minister of state for agriculture and food processing, Tariq Anwar, would also be attending the programme.
The mango belts in Uttar Pradesh include Lucknow (Lucknow, Malihabad, Bakshi-ka-Talaab), Saharanpur and Sambhal-Amroha-Muzaffarnagar districts. Malihabad is globally known for its sweet and aromatic Dussehri, extensive mango plantations, which has been granted Geographical Indication (GI) registration in 2009. Malihabad is situated on Lucknow-Hardoi state highway number 25.
In Lucknow, mango plantation belt extends across 25,000 hectares, which produces world famous Dussehri mango. It alone comprises about 30 percent of the state's annual mango production. This year, the state's mango production had much been lower compared to last year. During 2012, the UP mango production was about 38 lakh tonnes, while this year the production is pegged at only 15 lakh tonnes.
An association's member said,"At present, the subsidy of Rs 26 per kg on export and branding purposes of mango is grossly inadequate, the mango growers and exporters need subsidy on air freight to make their plantations more profitable." The association has also informed about seeking Central Government's help in promoting mango-based food processing industries.
Ramgarh, hitherto known for its coal mines, is now producing mangoes that are being exported to Europe and the Middle East. Some farmers from the district, with help from Uttar Pradesh-based cultivators, have proved that the soil of the coal belt is ideal for growing several varieties of mangoes.
The UP farmers convinced those from Ukrid village in Dulmi block to plant mango sapling on the semi-fertile vacant land. These saplings have now grown into trees laden with mangoes. Mahavir Sonkar Khatik, a UP farmer, said as many as 600 mango trees are now producing several varieties that are being exported and also catering to the domestic market. Dhaneshwar Kumar a farmer said that Ukrid village is now producing Langda, Malda, Gulab khas among other variety of mangoes which were being loved by people of across the country and even by foreigners.
Earlier, the farmers only cultivated seasonal crops and vegetables on these lands and a large part of non and semi fertile plots were lying vacant. "Mango trees require a lot of moisture to grow and the soil also needs to be well drained," Sonkar said, adding that fresh mangoes and pulp are important agricultural products of the country. "India exports mangoes and mango pulp to the UAE, Kuwait and other Middle Eastern countries with a limited quantity being sent to the European market," Sonkar said.
Krishna District is home to one of the best mango varieties in the country and export of the King of Fruits to other States in the country is on an average around 30,000 tonnes annually through the Railways.
This season is not considered to be a very good year for mango crop, but better than last season, helped the Railways also achieve handling 24,415 tonnes from April 1 to May 21 creating a sort of record as the projections for the season are reaching beyond 30,000 tonnes. Last season the Vijayawada Division of South Central Railway had handled only 25,200 tonnes, but now with another 10 days to go for the season to come to an end, Divisional Railway Manager Pradeep Kumar hopes they will gross the highest revenue too.
With freight tariff going up by 25 per cent from June 1 last year, the Division has already netted Rs.4.56 crore sending out 20 rakes comprising 42 covered wagons per rake. “There is still some demand from the aggregators and exporters to send mangoes to Anand Nagar Delhi station and we are ready to supply any number of rakes within a short notice,” the DRM told The Hindu on Wednesday.
While each wagon can be loaded with 30 tonnes, it takes about five to six hours and the Railways places wagons at Nuzvid station at 7 a.m. everyday and ensures that the rake crosses Andhra Pradesh same day to reach New Delhi within 48 hours to ensure the half-ripe Mangoes are just ripe enough for consumption and are sold in the market in Northern States.
The 2009-10 season saw the highest loading of 32 wagons sending out 34,314 tonnes. Now every care is taken in loading and staking them and providing the wagon with a mesh window to keep airflow in-tact. Banginapalli, Chinna Rasalu, Totapuri and Collector are the popular ones. This is one of the two dedicated mango loading stations in the country with other also being Andhra Pradesh – Vizianagaram, now under East Coast Railway.
The horticulture department of the state government, which has been promoting mango cultivation on commercial basis for last few years, has received mango export order from Finland. The overseas sales will take place once the Bhubaneswar airport starts functioning as an international airport.
"We are promoting the sales and export of local mangoes. We have got an order from Finland. The quantum of export is expected to go up after the functioning of the international airport," said Sanjiv Chadha, director of horticulture.
The Biju Patnaik regional airport is expected to get the international airport tag by the end of July.
To facilitate global and domestic trading of mango, the department has set up a company called as Dhenkanal Fruits and Vegetables Marketing Company Limited having processing and packaging facility. Currently, the state is dispatching mangoes to Delhi, Utter Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal.
In 2011-12, Odisha produced 715,179 tonne mangoes cultivated on 142,358 ha of fruit bearing area. The production was 642,010 tonne in 2010-11 and 577,476 tonne in 2009-10. Odisha is ranked as sixth largest mango growing state in India, which accounts for over 60 per cent of global mango output of 25 million tonne.
With nature playing spoilsport the hopes of mango farmers to reap rich harvest this year were dampened. The thick blanket of fog during the flowering stage of the crop followed by untimely rains and gales results in less crop yield. A majority of farmers lost their mangoes at a very early stage and even failed to get back at least 50 per cent of their investment. The lack of good price for the mango produce too has disappointed the mango growers in this district.
“We used to get an yield of around 5 tonne from the cropp grown in an acre of land but this year we failed to get even one tonne due to bad weather conditions,” said Venkatakrishnama Naidu, a farmer from Damalacheruvu.
Besides a very less yied the prices of mangoes too have witnessed a down fall. Naidu explains that lack of quality is the main reason behind it. “We invest Rs 40,000 per acre and we don’t even get Rs 10,000 back,” he said.
According to district horticulture department assistant director N Dasaratharami Reddy, mango crop is grown in 60,000 acres across the district and there are 65 mango pulping centres located in the district and used to produce one lakh metric tonnes to mango pulp.
This pulp is supplied to softdrink companies and fruit juice manufacturing units as well as exported to Singapore, Malaysia and Arab nations. “The exports used to touch more than `250 crore,’’ the officer said.
However, due to the decline in production of mango crop this year, 35 pulping centres have remained closed. The remaining 30 units too are not getting adequate stock from the district. They have to be dependent on mango stock from other districts like Kadapa, Nellore, Krishna and also from the neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka states,’’ he explained.
When contacted the district fruit processing industries association joint secretary RVS Prasad said the district which used to produce mango pulp excess than the targets in the past is now forced to look for mango stock from other districts and even states.
Observing that similar situation will even lead to the closure of the existing the pulping units he sought the government to take necessarysteps for aiding the mango growers and allied products in Chittoor district.
Market opportunity and easily available information has made Germany a natural springboard into Europe, according to one Indian mango exporter.
Mahesh Krishnappa of Rapid Import and Exporters said the company has sent its first small consignments to Germany with the hope of making a splash in a promising new market.
“We wanted to understand E.U. regulations when we started the business so we came up with the idea of collaborating with a company in Europe,” the marketer told www.freshfruitportal.com.
“We invested in Germany because it was easy for us to find a collaborating partner so that we would understand the legal obligations in the European Union.”
The company had also considered launching its European business in the Netherlands, where it still hopes to establish relations, but ultimately chose Germany due in part to a relative lack of mango options.
“At least for Germany, our clients did not have customers previously from India supplying mangoes. To gain confidence, they did not place big orders at first. They wanted to see the quality and how people accepted Indian variety mangoes. So far it looks really good,” he said.
“The German market wasn’t so influenced by the different varieties of mangoes. There are varieties available but only in a certain season. It was not loaded with mangoes as compared to the Netherlands, for example. That was a marketing strategy we had.”
Rapid has not yet received full feedback for its initial sales in Germany but Krishnappa was satisfied with the company’s offering.
“We are very positive because we are confident about the quality of the mangoes and the quantity. India grows around 50% of the world’s mangoes and the quality is also very high on the global market,” he said.
“The only variable is the acceptance of these mangoes on the local market. But for acceptance, we are also confident because it is not grown in the European Union and we will not be hurting the sentiments of local farmers.”
For export, the company primarily offers Alphonso mangoes, in addition to Kesar, Banganpalli and Totapuri.
Krishnappa explained that the Indian fruit offering differs largely from other producing nations in terms of variety, giving the company confidence it will be able to compete against other regions.
He said southern India received unexpected rains early in the season, which caused some fruit to drop to the ground. Alphonso, the main export variety, was not significantly impacted, however. Krishnappa said quantity and quality so far looked good compared to last year.
Amid indications that the US would allow import of Indian mangoes this season, a leading American trade body said that the Indian varieties of the delicious fruit was likely to dominate the 2.50-lakh tonne US market if import was allowed.
"Since the news about the possibility of import of Indian mangoes to the US appeared, we have been getting frequent queries from speciality grocery stores as well as transporters," spokesperson of the United States Indian Business Council (USIBC) said.
The spokesperson said although US consumers were relatively unfamiliar to mangoes, in recent years the fruit was getting popular, following import from mainly Mexico.
As a result, the Mexican variety of mango dominated the US market which has a size of 2.5 lakh tonne annually. "Mexican mangoes, however, do not compare in terms of sweetness and varieties offered by the Indian mangoes," the spokesperson said. USIBC has been steadily building up a case for allowing import of Indian mangoes to the US in recent years.
As part of the same exercise the Council planned to organise the first-ever 'Indian Mango Tasting Festival' at its Global India Summit to be held inWashington from June 27.
Union commerce minister Kamal Nath and a number of important names of Indian business including Reliance chairman Mukesh Ambani, FICCI president Hari Khorakivala and Tarun Das of CIL, are scheduled to attend the summit.
A business delegation from West Bengal led by Industry minister Nirupam Sen would also attend the summit.
When an American business delegation led by USIBC President Ron Somers had last month called on West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, he had made a special request to them to work on allowing import of Indian mangoes to the United States.
Indian mangoes have never been allowed to be exported to the US because they have not undergone pests risk analysis.
A major breakthrough was achieved last year when an agreement was signed between the US Department of Agriculture and the Indian Department of Agriculture and Co-operation to resolve a 17-year old trade dispute on potential pests and disease.
It agreed on a framework outlining fundamental requirements for bilateral trade of commodities treated by irradiation.
The USIBC spokesperson said that subsequently, the US Department of Commerce and the Department of Agriculture have been actively clearing the way for Indian mango import this season.
The Council's member companies have been spearheading private sector lobbying to ensure that the import of Indian mangoes was allowed this season beginning in a month now.
The city is all set to host its first-ever mango festival. Mango Growers Association will organise ‘Mango Fest 2013’, an exclusive exhibition of different varieties of mangoes at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, Kaloor, from May 24 to June 2.
Health Minister V S Sivakumar will inaugurate the mango festival. The exhibition will contain varieties of mangoes imported especially from Singapore, Malaysia, New Delhi, Bangalore and Mumbai.
The mangoes will be arranged in around 300 air-conditioned stalls. The fest will also display various mango products such as pickles, juices and payasams. Besides, an All India Expo, furniture expo and a grand food fest will be organised in connection with the fest. Mayor Tony Chammany, GCDA chairman N Venugopal, district panchayat president Eldhose Kunnappilly, MLAs and MPs along with cine and serial artists will attend the grand mango fest.
The fest is marketed by Can events. The organisers said that they expect about one lakh people to visit the fest. An opportunity will also be provided to clientele to display products and advertisements.
Mango exports from India to the US are likely to touch a record level of about 500 tonnes this year, due to a strong demand and an expected sufficient supply of export quality fruit, according to the government body APEDA.
However, inadquate irradiation centres for treating insect pest mango seed weevils and fruit fly from the fruits, is limiting large shipments from the country, it said.
Last year India, the world's largest grower of the fruit, had shippped about 209 tonnes of mangoes to America.
"The overall mango exports to US are expected to reach a record 400-500 tonnes this year," a senior official of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) told PTI.
Since April first week, the country has exported 90 tonnes of mangoes, mainly from western India. 'Alfonso' and 'Kesar' varieties grown in the western parts of the country are being exported to the US, he said.
The supply of export quality mangoes is sufficient as of now. The arrival of mangoes from south India has started, while the season in Northern states like Uttar Pradesh will begin from mid-June onwards, the official added.
However, record exports will depend on supply of quality UP mangoes like 'Dasheri', 'Langda' and 'Chounsa' that will hit the market during monsoon," APEDA said.
According to it, traders have managed to get good orders this time due to strong demand for Indian mangoes.
However, big volumes of exports to the US cannot take place due to insufficient irradiation centres in the country. The US prefers irradiation to get rid of an insect pest mango seed weevils and fruit fly from the fruits.
At present, India has only one irradiation centre in Maharashtra with a processing capacity of 10-15 tonnes per day.
Mango exports to the US resumed in 2007. The fruits are exported to the US via air after the irradiation process, which is a modern food preservation technology that can reduce the risk of food poisoning, control food spoilage and extend shelf-life of food.
Indian mangoes are being exported at Rs 150-175 per kg at fob (freight on board), almost the same price as last year.
The country's overall mango exports are expected to be around 83,000 tonnes this year, while the domestic production is estimated to be around 15 lakh tonnes.
Visitors from across the country thronged in for the festival of the summer fruit, mango in Thiruvananthapuram, with more than 30 types of mangoes available on sale at an affordable price.
"The mangoes have come from Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala. We have 30 varieties of mango here, starting from Malgoa. These 30 varieties include the typical Kerala local varieties of mangoes too," said Ashraf, a mango trader in Thiruvananthapuram.
Mango, often called the king of fruits is grown in different parts of the country.
Arrival of the fruit from southern and western parts of the country hit the market mainly in April-May, while harvest in the north starts from May-end and runs till mid-July.
Different mango varieties from various parts of India were available for sale under the single roof of the festival.
The mangoes were on sale at an affordable price and it came as a sigh of relief for the customers amidst soaring demand and prices in the summers of southern India.
The event was a good opportunity not only for mango lovers but also for local vendors who wanted to boost their business.
Mango artwork with big artificial mangoes glorified the event.
Mango lovers did not seem to miss the golden opportunity as the festival witnessed a good influx of visitors who wanted to fulfill their wish to have mango as they craved for it.
"This is the second time the government is organizing such an event. It's a very good initiative by the government. They are bringing the cultivators under a single roof, the people in Kerala are experiencing such a thing, all the varieties are here, it's a very good initiative by the government," said Rohit.
Alphonso, Banganapalli, Kesar, Langra, Chausa, Mallika and Dussheri are the most popular varieties from across the country, and their prices vary.
Mango growers earn around rupees 70,000 to 75, 000 for every ton of mangoes exported to the U.S., and make an annual profit of rupees 4.5 million.
Though, India is the largest producer of mangoes, it accounts for less than one percent of the international mango trade, consuming most of its own output.
With the season of king of fruits setting in, Berhampur, the largest mango market in the Southern Odisha, is flooded with the juicy fruit.
Almost every variety of the mangoes has arrived in the market that is doing a daily business of Rs1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh.
The favourite varieties of the customers are Sundari, Baiganapalli, Cherukurasam or Akhurasa and Panukul. While a kilogram of Akhurasa mangoes costs Rs 45 in wholesale rate, Sundari is priced between Rs 28 and Rs 35, Baiganapalli Rs 30 and Rs 40 while the Kalambi variety comes for around Rs 30. The local varieties are sold for `20 to `25 per kg.
Though, the price of the mangoes has gone up marginally compared to last year, the demand has not been affected due to the consumers’ fascination towards the sweet summer fruit.
With the local producers unable to meet the demand, Berhampur market depends on Andhra Pradesh for its stock that comes from Srikakulam, Vijayanagaram, Elluru, Nellore, Narsanapeta and Vijayawada. Some mangoes are also imported from Karnataka.
Traders said as mangoes are perishable, about 75 per cent of the businessmen prefer to be commission agents of Andhra wholesalers and about 25 per cent businessmen purchase it directly from the neighbouring state.
“Currently, we receive 15 to 20 trucks of mangoes from Andhra Pradesh every day,” said Nabin Acharya, a trader, adding that around 30 varieties of mangoes which are basically of three types including juicy, fleshy and fibrous are sold in the market.
Of all the varieties, Baiganapalli is in maximum demand.
Presently, mango market in Berhampur has been operating near the Neelakantheswar temple since 1995. Earlier, it was near the St. Stephens Church Ground for 17 years and prior to that, at Khwaja Sahi here. The mango market is a seasonal one and runs for four months every year - April to July. Till date, 76 stalls have been set up by nearly 40 wholesalers with 75 per cent commission agents.
Berhampur also supplies mangoes to various places within the State and neighbouring states such as West Bengal. Traders said the market registers a turnover of `1 crore during the season every year.
Mango mania is all set to sweep the world famous Trafalgar Square on Sunday in what will be London's first ever Indian mango festival.
The mayor of London has allowed a strong delegation from Maharashtra to celebrate a special "Alphonso mango festival" on May 5 and 6 - incidentally a national holiday in UK.
As many as 25,000 people will be able to taste India's juiciest alphonsos for free besides mango lassi shots.
The event will come with an adequate flavour of Bollywood with choregrapher Shiamak Davar performing to some of the most popular film songs at the Square.
Celebrity chef Sanjeev Kapoor will whip up some mango delicacies while set designer of Lagaan, Jodha akbar and Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam fame Nitin Desai creating sets in the centre of the square that includes six jumbo-sized wooden elephants.
Whuile Trafalgar Square will be the venue for the festival on Sunday, Monday will see the same mango mania take place in another of London's iconic areas - Leicester.
The event, that will be attended by a 20-member strong delegation from Maharashtra including mango growers, farmers and sellers will also look to popularise the Alphonso in the British market.
Abhijeet Patil, main organiser of the event told TOI "The festival including food and drinks will all revolve around the Maharashtrian mango and we expect to cater to 25,000 people since Trafalgar Square is packed with visitors on Sundays. At present, when people buy mangoes from stores in UK, they don't know whether it is from India, Pakistan or some other countries. We therefore want to popularise the Indian mango in UK."
According to Patil, the event is part of a larger plan to popularise Konkan as a destination for tourists and business.
Alphonso has been a widely revered fruit by connoisseurs of cuisine such as Richard Corrigan, Yotam Ottolenghi, Vivek Singh, Sanjeev Kapoor and Peter Gordon amongst other great chefs. Alphonso delicacies are cherished at many well known Indian restaurants in UK such as Cinnamon Club and the Ambrette with MasterChef wWinner Shelina Permalloo who uses only the Alphonso variety for her tantalizing delicacies.
India is the world's top mango exporter followed by Mexico.
Mangoes from Goa are said to be exported to Brazil in 1811. The Alphonso economy at present is worth more than Rs 1,000 crores and exports of mango pulp is presently pegged at Rs 620 crores.
Mangoes are here again to tickle the sweet tooth of city dwellers this summer. A 10-day national Honey and Mango Fest -2013 will be on at the Kanakakkunnu palace from May 2 to May 12. Nearly 100 tonnes of mango from the south Indian states, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh will arrive at the festival jointly hosted by State Horticulture Mission and Horticorp.
‘’It is expected that 10 tonnes of mango will be sold a day. The majority of mangoes will come from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. About one lakh visitors are expected for the fest. Artificially ripened mangoes using calcium carbide will strictly be kept off limits from this fest,’’ said K Prathapan, director of State Horticulture Mission.
Quintessential varieties in Kerala, such as neelam, varikka, kalappadi, sindooram, chandrakkaran, nambiar maanga, chakkarakutti, kottoorkonam, varikka, moovandan, kilichundan, pharangiladuva will be displayed. From other states, there will be jahangir, daseri, selam, banglora, alphonso, banganapalli, malgova and mallika mango varieties. Besides, mango tree saplings will also be available for sale.
Bee breeders and bee keepers from Kerala will come up with ‘cheruthen’, ‘vanthen’ and ‘kaattuthen’ at the honey fest. A section having a variety of honey drinks is also expected to draw crowds. Value-added honey products will also make an appearance. The entry fee for the festival will be Rs 10. Tickets will be available from the counter on the Kanakakkunnu palace premises and from the branches of Indian Bank in the city. Entry is free for kids aged below 10.
The fest will be inaugurated by Agriculture Minister K P Mohanan at 4 pm on Thursday. K Muraleedharan MLA will preside over the function. The inauguration of the pavilions will be performed by Health Minister V S Sivakumar. Mayor K Chandrika will be the chief guest.
There is good news for mango lovers, as a good yield of this king of fruits is expected in orchards in Krishna district, which exports a large quantity to many destinations in India.
The popular varieties like Banginapally and Chinna rasalu will have a good yield in Krishna district this season, according to Horticulture Department officials.
Mango crop is in a better stage in the orchards in upland mandals of the district compared to last year. Farmers have reaped the fruit twice in some areas by April-end and mango stocks both raw and ripe ones are flooding the market. The recent gales in the district caused five to ten per cent fruit yield drop, but, the rainfall will help it grow in farms where the crop is in tender stage, said the officials.
Last year, the production was around 1.75 lakh tonnes in the district and this year the total produce may be around 2 lakh tonnes, Horticulture Assistant Director P.M. Subhani told The Hindu.
The average cultivable area in the district is about 57.15 hectares and the bearing area is 55,000 hectares. Farmers raise banginapally, chinna rasalu, pedda rasalu, Navaneetam rasalu and totapuri varieties.
Banginapally was raised in 70 per cent of the cultivable area, totapuri in 20 per cent and the remaining varieties in ten per cent of the orchards. The crop is good in the orchards in Tiruvuru, Reddygudem, Vissannapeta, Nuzvid, Jaggaiahpet, A. Konduru, Mylavaram, Gampalagudem and other mandals.
Less fruit drop
This year, fruit drop is lower compared to previous years and the growers expect an average of four tonnes of fruit per hectare. About 20 per cent of the mango stocks had already arrived in the market and another 40 per cent of the fruits are ready for harvesting. Farmers use Totapuri mangoes for preparing jelly, said the Horticulture AD.
“Mango is a crop, which has alternate bearing cycle and in bangenapally variety the phenomenon is striking. The production, however, depends on the age of the crop/trees. I plucked the fruit thrice in January, March and in April and the price in the market is good,” said a farmer Kondaiah of Reddygudem village.
Bihar is in for a bumper mango harvest this year, with production expected to be more than double of last year. Even the horticulture and agriculture department sources said the state is set for a bumper harvest this season. The fruit has already started appearing in the local market.
"The crop yield this year is likely to be around 15 lakh metric tonnes," said deputy director, horticulture (planning), Pawan Kumar on Thursday. Though there was a thunderstorm last week, it did not cause much damage to the crop, he added.
The total target area for mango cultivation is 38,015 acres under the Bagicha Bachao Abhiyaan (Save Orchard campaign) launched by CM Nitish Kumar in May, 2012. Emphasis was laid on adoption of scientific methods in horticultural activities and fruit-bearing trees were cultivated and grown in accordance with their area-specific quality and value. The government also gave subsidy to farmers for the tilling and ploughing of land under orchards. This led to the increase in yield, said Kumar.
'Jardaloo' variety of mango, which is successfully grown in Bhagalpur district, and the 'Dudhiya' variety of 'Malda' mango of Digha in Patna, have been ensured an assured market, added the agriculture official.
District agriculture officer, Patna, Nitesh Kumar Rai also said that in view of widespread flowering and formation of fruits on mango trees in most of the districts like Muzaffarpur, Vaishali, Darbhanga, Bhagalpur, Purnia, Araria and Patna, the state is expecting a bumper crop this season provided there is no major thunderstorm.
The year 2012 was an 'off year' for the crop as 2011 was an 'on year'. Therefore, the overall mango yield achieved was less than 10 lakh tonnes. Due to the poor yield, its price was also high last year, say farmers. Moreover, mango is a dry-land crop which can survive without irrigation. It is also drought-resistant (the crop does not require regular watering after the fourth year of the plantation) and despite less rainfall, the yields are high, said a farmer.
Sanjay Jha, another big farmer of Darbhanga, said, "The rates should become steady after initial high and we expect good quality of Malda to sell at Rs 50 to Rs 60/kg."
Malda, Mallika, Jardaloo, Gulabkhas, Bumbai, Daseri, Chausa are major varieties of mango grown in the state. Of these, Malda contributes about 30% of the total production. A Vaishali-based farmer, Dhananjay Sah, who owns a huge orchard near Lalganj, said, "Last year, we had only 55% of the total expected yield, but this time we are expecting at least 80% of the total yield. Nevertheless, the fruit size may be reduced if there is no summer or pre-monsoon showers in April-May. Even the fruit quality may be affected in case of no rain in the crucial months, he said, and added that one or two showers can ensure a quality crop yield."
Interestingly, Bihar ranks third in mango cultivation and covers about 50% of the total fruit area in the state as per National Horticulture Mission (NHM) sources.
Mango is a dry season crop and is mostly rain-fed. Unlike vegetables which are planted and harvested within days or weeks and are thus more likely to be affected by drought-like conditions (currently prevalent in the state of Maharashtra), mangoes are harvested from large trees which have stood for years and survive on groundwater which is deep inside, so they are not as badly affected.
Omkar Sapre, member of the board and chief marketing officer, Devgad Taluka Amba Utpadak Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit (Devgad Taluka Mango Growers' Cooperative Society Ltd), Jamsande, Devgad, Sindhudurg, said mangoes – the king of fruits – suffer from a host of other problems. He stated, “Firstly, there is inadequate last-mile connectivity between mango farms in Maharashtra to the homes of people.”
“Secondly, the price of the fruit has increased on account of the reduced subsidies in the prices of pesticides and fertilisers. Thirdly, the manpower working in the fields, particularly at the time of harvest, grading and packing the mangoes, is inadequate. Fourthly, the numbers, varieties and destructive power of pests has increased, and there is a lack of effective pesticides against them. And lastly, there must be more innovations and research in packaging, which is lacking,” he said.
Facts & figures
Sapre said, “Maharashtra has 4,82,000 hectare of land under mango cultivation, which is the largest among the Indian states. However, in terms of production of mangoes, the state, with 5,03,000 metric tonne, ranks ninth. According to data provided by the National Horticulture Database 2011-12, Uttar Pradesh, which has just 2,58,300 hectare of land under mango production, has the largest mango production (estimated to be 38,40,800 metric tonne).”
“Alphonso mangoes are predominantly grown in the Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg districts of Maharashtra. It is a table fruit, and its unique selling point is that it has a very sweet taste and a pleasant aroma and occurs rarely. The two other varieties grown in the state are Kesar and Payri. As far as Devgad is concerned, about 2,000 farmers cultivate Alphonso mangoes. The taluka produces about 50,000 tonne of mangoes,” he said.
Sapre said, “Alphonso and Kesar are exported from the state, though Alphonso comprises 90 per cent of India's mango exports. Baganapalli – a variety from the south – is also exported. Alphonso mangoes are exported to 52 countries. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is the largest importer, followed by Bangladesh, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Nepal, Kuwait, Singapore, Qatar, Bahrain, the United States and Canada,” he added.
Farmers have no say
When quizzed whether those who cultivate mangoes are given a fair deal when their product reaches the market, Sapre said, “It would be too selfish for us to answer this question in the negative only from the mango farmers' point of view. There is no doubt that they do not get a fair deal, but that is the case with every agricultural commodity. And fruit and vegetables are not sold for a maximum retail price (MRP), but are bought at the roadside only after heavy bargaining. It is sad that agriculture is the only business where the producer does not decide or does not have the power to decide the prices of his/her produce and it is the seller who decides it.”
Devgad Taluka Amba Utpadak Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit is involved in the marketing of mangoes, and Sapre stated that for the past two years, the society has been running the pilot of an e-commerce initiative (www.devgadmango.com), where it delivers the fruit from Devgad to the homes of people in cities.
He added that while the initiative was a success in Pune, it hadn't quite taken off along the expected lines in other cities owing to connectivity issues. “This year, we will scale up the initiative in Pune. Meanwhile, we are also working on ironing out the issues in other cities,” he informed.
When asked about the society's marketing strategy, Sapre said, “We are the custodians of the brand we produce. So the strategy, which is also mentioned our website is, 'The world's best Alphonso mango, directly from the farmers'. We ensure nothing less than the best quality – all the customer has to do is choose the size and variant of mango they want. We have established processes to ensure that only the best fruits pass through and reach the customers. We vouch for our quality, stand by it and make all efforts to create a brand along the same lines as any corporate offering.”
Sapre said the government could do a lot for mago cultivators to thrive, adding that the society has made its representation, but the need of the hour at this point is to mandate a minimum support price (MSP) along the lines of sugarcane for mangoes bought for processing. This, he stated, would solve a number of problems faced by the mango producers.
“Another problem that needs to be addressed is the octroi. There is no octroi on fruit, but at some check nakas, harassment of mango transporters is not uncommon. They are in fact asked to pay octroi on the pretext of them being processed products (because they are packed in boxes) and not as mere fruits,” he added.
Stand on artificial ripening
Sapre said Devgad Taluka Amba Utpadak Sahakari Sanstha Maryadit was totally against the use of any chemical to ripen the fruit, because there is no need to do so as it diminishes the quality of the fruit. He added, “Instead, we ripen the fruit naturally using hay, and that is why the quality is superior. In fact, it is because of this that we are in a position to command a certain price.”
“The issue of artifical ripening has cropped up because of the weird manner in which the market is structured. Mangoes that come into the market first fetch a higher price. This brings in a tendency among traders to pull in the fruit as soonas possible from the farmers, ripen them artificially and sell them off equally fast. To do so, calcium carbide – a banned product, because it is known to cause cancer and is therefore unfit for human consumption – is used,” he said.
“A point that must be noted is that calcium carbide does not really 'ripen' mangoes. Customers must understand that ripening is a bio-chemical reaction. When the fruit reaches it maturing stage, it starts producing ethylene gas, which slowly breaks down the acids in the fruit, and converts starch into sugar. It is not humanly possible to accelerate this natural biochemical reaction in the fruit,” Sapre explained.
“What calcium carbide does to mangoes is that it produces acetylene gas, which creates heat. When generated from calcium carbide, acetylene contains toxic impurities. The main application of acetylene is in welding and as a fuel, and it affects the neurological system. When acetylene fills up the box of mangoes, it heats them from outside and then the mangoes start losing their green colour and turn yellow from outside,” he added.
Sapre said, “The mangoes do turn yellow, but do not ripen. Some starch near the skin of mangoes is broken into sugar and then mangoes take a uniform yellow colour. To the customers, the mangoes look yellow, so they think it is ripe and buy it at whatever cost. However, the taste is not what the customer has paid for. Such mangoes taste pathetic.”
“Another problem for us is that almost all mangoes that look like Alphonso are sold in the market as Devgad and Ratnagiri. Now people have heard the names of these two talukas producing mangoes of top quality. When people eat such artificially-ripened mangoes thinking that they must belong to either of these talukas, and more so to Devgad, and the mangoes taste pathetic, our name takes a beating. These people do not want to buy Devgad mangoes later on, based on the fake mangoes they have eaten. So essentially the loss from artificially ripened mangoes is not just financial but all around,” he added.
Pavankumar Agarwal, director (commercial), Shree Mahalaxmi Agro Farms Pvt Ltd – which deals in Alphonso mangoes and their pulp – said, “We are exporters. While our products are in great demand all over the globe, Canada is a significant importer, and the company is currently in negotiations with the buyers.”
“In fact, we showcased our products at various international trade fairs, including Gulfood in Dubai, Foodex in Japan and IEF (the United Kingdom), and were present at the APEDA show as well. We own a global GAP and ISO 22000:2005-certified Alphonso mango orchard with in-house pulping and canning lines and tube-in-tube technology,” he said.
Agarwal agreed with Sapre that farmers have not got a fair deal and that the government has to look into the same with an eye on the long-term prospects for the sector. He said, “Farmers can get a good price for their product only when marketing committee charges and brokers' commissions at yards are kept in check.”
As far as the problems it faces are concerned, he said, “Improper infrastructure is a key issue. Transportation is inaequate and climate-controlled distribution hubs need to be developed.”
When quizzed about artificial ripening, Agarwal stated, “Artificial ripening as per global GAP practices is acceptable, but using hazardous chemicals to ripen the mangoes is creating a shift to the other varieties available. The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Maharashtra have to look into it at the market (point of sales) level.”
It was a feast to remember for Delhi's mango-lovers who got a taste of their favourites from 600 varieties of the "maharaja" of fruits at the three-day Mango Festival that ended here Sunday. With varieties such as "kela", "elaichi", "rasgulla" on offer, the festival at Dilli Haat, Pitam Pura, saw participation from 17 traditional growers of mangoes including Central Institute for Sub-Tropical Horticulture, Mustafa Orchards and Purkazi. "We have displayed about 250 varieties of mangoes out of which only 5 to 6 types are for commercial use and the other 142 types are for the research purposes," P.K. Saxena, from the Horticulture Experiment and Training Centre in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur, told IANS. "Rajeev, Saurabh and and Gaurav are the three variety of mangoes that can only be found in Saharanpur," Saxena added. The festival also displayed myriad varieties like "Sirki", "Kensington", "Amrapali", "Mallika Fazli" and many more. Rohit Kumar, who visited the mango festival with his family, said: "I never knew India had so many kinds of mangoes. I was amazed by how different these were from each other, though they looked similar from the naked eyes." The mangoes were displayed in three different halls and many of them were on sale as well. Other products made from the fruit like mango squash, and pickles were also on sale. "The price of the mango depends on the production and this year the production hasn't been great. So the prices are sightly higher varying from Rs.20 per gg for the Dashehri mango to Rs.60 per kg for the hybrid Mallika," a stall owner said. Other features of the fest were a mango-eating competition, mango quizzes and a mango slogan writing competition. The festival was organised by Delhi government's tourism department, Incredible India, Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority and National Horticulture Board.