After scoring success with the US, Australia and Iran, India is now eyeing the untapped Japanese and South Korean markets for exporting mangoes, a top official has said.
"Basically, mangoes from Thailand are mostly consumed in the (Far Eastern) region, including China. We have found that they do not like fibrous mango. So, we have decided to promote low-fibre mango varieties to these countries," D.K. Singh, Chairman of the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), told IANS.
Singh said that Japan is expected to import a good amount of mangoes this year and if South Korea welcomes Indian varieties, it will open up the market in the Far East as well as Southeast Asian countries.
For this, APEDA plans to hold promotional events in the region.
"The Indian Embassy has requested the South Korean government to permit about 10 exporters to promote our varieties. We expect that success in Japan and South Korea chapters will help us in tapping the market," Singh said.
According to APEDA data, Japan had imported 48 tonnes of Indian mangoes between April 2016 and January 2017 while it was just 0.26 tonnes for South Korea.
Two consignments — one from Mumbai and the other from Tirupati — have headed to Japan while an official from South Korea has reached Mumbai to visit a mango processing facility.
"Japanese officials visited irradiation facilities in Mumbai and Tirupati and subsequently gave a green signal to exports. Now, two consignments of mangoes are on the way to Japan. A South Korean official is in Mumbai for an examination (of the facilities available)," APEDA Deputy General Manager Sudhanshu told IANS.
He also added that Australia has recently approved the irradiation facility in Mumbai. Thus, Australians would be able to enjoy the fruit long after the local season ended.
The Australian Mango Industry Association's Robert Gray was quoted by Xinhua news agency as saying that Indian mangoes would be imported when the native season was over, ensuring a constant supply for those who enjoy the golden fruit.
Experts in the field have predicted good harvest this year provided adverse factors such as heavy rains and hailstorm do not play spoilsport.
As for the US, it has already imported 150 tonnes this year and this is expected to continue.
Iran has shown interest in Indian mangos, especially North Indian varieties.
According to APEDA officials, a group of investigators is expected to visit Malihabad in Uttar Pradesh to test local varieties in the next few days.
"The Iranian investigators will visit the irradiation facilities in Mumbai and Bangalore before they go to Uttar Pradesh to test Malihabad's mango varieties," Singh said, adding this will help in promoting North Indian varieties like dasheri, chausa and langda, which otherwise do not fetch a fair return due to their late arrival in the market.