Despite irregular weather influencing the number of Alphonso, the ‘king of mangoes,’ is back on the market in the United States after two years.
India is one of the world’s largest exporters of fresh mangoes. It transported almost 21,000 tonnes of fresh mangoes worth ₹272 crores last year. However, the rich US market has remained closed.
Due to Covid-19 travel limitations, inspectors from the Department of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have been unable to visit India to examine processing facilities, resulting in a ban on Indian mango exports since 2020.
Mango shipments to the United States have begun, with the first consignment arriving on April 11. Also Read | India-US Trade Policy Forum agreed to ease market access for fruits, and animal feeds.
The first delivery of three tonnes of Alphonso to the United States was dispatched last week from Lasalgaon’s irradiation plant. This season, around 800 tonnes of mango are expected to be exported from Lasalgaon to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, New Jersey, California, and New York.
Alphonso mangoes from Maharashtra’s Konkan area have a geographical indication (GI) label for their distinct flavor, aroma, taste, and color.
While horticulture specialists believe the Portuguese introduced the Alphonso to the Konkan, local researchers and farmers disagree. They believe that it is a native product that was brought to the world market by the Portuguese. Alphonso is now an important part of the Konkan economy.
Before the export ban in 2020, India sent over 1000 tonnes of mangoes to the United States, worth $4.35 million. Exporters expect to surpass that level this year. ‘Prior to Covid-19’s intervention, Alphonso’s demand in the global market, particularly in the United States, had been on the rise for a few years.
Exports to the United States have resumed this season, and we hope there will be no further obstacles,’ says Ramesh Vichare, a mango grower from Raigad in the Konkan region.