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Mauritius opens market for Indian mangoes

Mauritius opened up its $1.5 billion market for Indian mangoes, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had visited that country recently.

For several years, Mauritius was not issuing sanitary and phyto-sanitary clearances to Indian mangoes, thanks to fear of fruit flies in cargoes. But, emphasising the need of improving regional co-operation, the Indian government took up the matter with highest authorities in Mauritius. Following that, Modi held extensive meeting with his Mauritian counterpart Anerood Jugnauth on his recent tour to the eastern countries.

The governments of India and the tiny island country in the east signed an agreement in early March under which Indian exporters can ship mangoes to Mauritius between April 1 and August 31.

Mauritius imports a large quantity of mango from Pakistan due to price competitiveness. Mango export from Pakistan works out to cheaper for that country than that from India. But, non-availability of the king of mango - Alphonso - and certain other varieties might give India some advantages over Pakistan.

Without specifying any quantity, Ali said, "The biggest obstacle for Indian exporters is the freight subsidy. Export subsidy offered by the government of Pakistan makes their exporters competitive in global markets. Therefore, we urged government to raise freight subsidy to 70 per cent (from 30 per cent now) so that Indian exporters would be price competitive."

Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (Apeda) has urged exporters to follow proper guidelines to make Indian mangoes acceptable for Mauritian consumers. Apeda has urged exporters to make vapour heat treatment at 47.8 degrees centigrade for 20 minutes or hot water treatment as specified by global norms.

"Exporters can utilise the current mango season for export to Mauritius," said R Ravindra, deputy general manager, Apeda. Meanwhile, opening up of two major markets, Mauritius and European Union, will help push mango exports. Mango production in India is likely to decline this year by 25-30 per cent, due to crop damage following unseasonal rainfall in major growing states.

Source: business-standard.com

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