Millennium Post

Mangoes grown in Bankura find place on English platter

Kolkata: The first ever mango consignment from Bankura will leave London this week.

Seven tonnes of Amrapali variety that has grown in abundance in the district will be handed over to a private export company on Monday for dispatching it to the UK capital.

"We have already exported the Amrapali variety to Dubai. This is the fourth year when mangoes from Bankura have travelled to Dubai. But the European market has very stringent quality standards and after several attempts for the last few years we have been able to grow mangoes as per specifications of the Europeon countries. The export company has already examined the stuff and are convinced that the variety will be able to meet their demand," said Subhasis Batabyal, vice-chairman of West Bengal Agro Industries Corporation (WBAIC).

An official of the state Horticulture department said that the mangoes have been cultivated in organic manner and no inorganic fertilizers have been used. Each mango weighs between 300 and 350 grams and measures have been taken to prevent any insects in the fruit.

"We have catered to all the norms for export to Europeon countries," the official said.

Twenty tonnes of mangoes from Bankura have already been exported to Dubai and orders have been placed for another 26 tonnes.

The export season of mangoes starts from the last week of May and continues till end of July. Himsagar — the mango variety with a GI (geographical indication) tag has been the topper in the export list followed by the other varieties. Himsagar, Langra and Lakshmanbhog variety of Malda has been in the state export radar for quite some time . But Bankura's Amrapali is offering a stiff competition to its counterparts in Malda for the last few years with the Mamata Banerjee government leaving no stone unturned to give a major push for exporting the Amrapali and Mallika variety from Bankura. Last year around 100 tonnes mango from Bankura was exported to Middle East countries, Malaysia, and Singapore.

The state's mangoes have been receiving overwhelming response at the Mango Festival at Janpath in Delhi, that had started from June 17 and ends on June 30. "We have sold 43 tonnes of mango at the Festival," a senior official of the state Food Processing and Horticulture department said.

It may be mentioned that Bengal 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.

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