Nearly 3.5 tonne of mangoes — the first consignment of the fruit this season — was sent to Japan by air from Mumbai on Monday. Last season, around 40 tonne of mangoes were exported to that country.
The consignment that was sent to Japan underwent vapour heat treatment at Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board’s (MSAMB) vapour heat treatment plant at Vashi, a norm that is mandatory for mango exports to the country, senior officials of MSAMB stated.
Japan has been importing mangoes from Indian since 2006 and sends inspectors to oversee the vapour heat treatment process. However, this year because of the Covid-19 outbreak, the inspectors could not be sent to Mumbai. Instead, the Japanese government permitted the Directorate of Plant Protection, Quarantine & Storage to oversee the necessary procedures, said Sunil Pawar, MD, MSAMB.
Accordingly, MSAMB officials completed the vapour heat treatment process for the mangoes, he added.
The consignment to Japan was sent by three exporters including Sai Export, Beridell Foodsoff and GuruKripa Corporation. Pawar said that although the vapour heat treatment facility was functional, no international flights were available to Japan and therefore there was delay in exports this season.
Officials said around 11,760 tonne of mangoes were exported to the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, UK, US and Germany until May-end from India. Last year same time, exports had touched 22,892 tonne. According to APEDA (Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority), India exported 46,510.27 tonne of mangoes, worth Rs 406.45 crore, in the 2018-19 fiscal year. Maharashtra is the largest mango exporting state in the country and accounts for over 80% of the total exports.
Officials said that exports had dropped this season due to the Covid-19 outbreak since there were no international flights, labour issues and the lockdown across the country. Of the total mango exports from the country, Kesar accounts for 50-55%, Bangnapalli accounts for some 30%, Hapus or Alphonso another 13-15% and the remaining 40 other varieties account for the last 9-10% of the total outbound shipment.
At least 4,336 mango growers from alphonso growing regions across Maharashtra had registered under ‘MangoNet’ — an online traceability system that registers mango growers and exporters and enables importers and supermarkets in the European Union to check complete details of their shipments — on the lines of the successful ‘Grapenet’. As per earlier estimates, around 39,500 tonne of mango were expected to be exported from Maharashtra this season, which would be a 15 % increase from last year’s export of 34,500 tonne but this seems difficult due to the Covid pandemic.