Kolkata: The state Food Processing Industries & Horticulture (FPI&H) department is gearing up to give a big boost to its mango export to the Europeon Union (EU) this year. The first consignment for the EU is expected to be delivered in the last week of May.
"Earlier, some exporters on their own have sent consignments to the EU. It was from 2017 when the state government in collaboration with Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) had sent consignments to countries like UK, Italy, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. This year the government is hopeful of doubling its export," a senior official of FPI&H department said.
The three varieties of mango that has been earmarked for export are Himsagar, Langra and Lakshmanbhog.
The optimism on the part of the state results from the bumper growth of mangoes in Malda that has been over 400 metric tonne. APEDA, which is the nodal agency for export of fruits and vegetables from India, has announced subsidy for development of infrastructure, for export which may go up to nearly Rs 1 crore. "This will reflect in the export figure of Bengal this year as we are hopeful of doubling the export," APEDA DGM, RK Mondal said
APEDA has set up a hot water treatment plant at the state's packhouse in Malda in 2017 which has given a boost to the export potential.
It may be mentioned that the state's pack house at Malda was earlier not in a state for packing mangoes for export but the department along with APEDA have developed the infrastructure for the exports. An official of the state Horticulture department said the European market has very stringent quality standards and the department has tried its best to maintain the specifications. "Each piece needs to weigh between 300 and 350 gram. There should be no marks on the bodies of the fruits and there should not be any insects.
The hot water treatment will help us in locating such insects, if any inside the fruit and accordingly we will use gama radiation treatment to kill the insects," the official added.
The export season starts from the last week of May and is expected to continue till end of July. Himsagar — the mango variety with a GI (geographical indication) tag has topped the export list followed by the other varieties. The state also has plans to export litchis to the Europeon countries.