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Horticulture dept to kick off Bengal Mango Utsav today

Kolkata: In a bid to showcase and sell the wide varieties of mango and various products prepared from them, the state Food Processing & Horticulture department is organising the three-day Bengal Mango Utsav at New Town Mela Grounds from Friday to Sunday.

"Bengal, which is known for its wide variety of fruits and vegetables, produces around 400 varieties of mango and is one of the leading states in the production of table variety mangoes in the country, amounting to seven lakh metric tonnes. The three-day fair will also explore the possibilities of export to Middle East, Europe and South Asian Countries," a senior official of the state Horticulture department said.

Importers from Middle East countries like Dubai, Kuwait and Oman are scheduled to turn up at the three-day event, examine the quality of mangoes and hold discussions about export.

Apart from Himsagar, Langra and Lakshmanbhog variety of Malda, the department's major thrust will be Amrapali, Mallika and Alphonso variety of Bankura, which has been receiving positive response from buyers and exporters alike.

"We are also gearing up for the Mango Festival at Janpath in Delhi, that will be held from June 14 to 30. Mangoes from Malda and Bankura have been selected for the festival there," the official added.

In the last few years, Bankura has made it to the map of producing quality and exportable variety of mangoes, alongside Malda.

"We will be carrying two varieties - Mallika and Amrapali, to Delhi. 17 tonnes of mangoes from Bankura will be taken in a special trans-cooling van, provided by the state Horticulture department. The Amrapali variety is purely organic and had won the first prize in Delhi last year," said Subhasis Batabyal, vice-chairman of West Bengal Agro Industries Corporation (WBAIC).

Last year, 5 tonnes of mango was carried to the capital but later, in response to the huge demand, another 4

tonnes of mango had to be dispatched.

This year, under the jurisdictional area of the state, mangoes have grown on 4,000 hectares of land in Bankura, with 10 tonnes on average in each hectare.

"Orders for export have already come from Middle East countries like Qatar and Dubai," an official of WBAIC said.

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