India is on the lookout for mango markets across East Asia and the Middle East, with fruit-themed festivals and in-embassy tasting events being rolled out by the government in recent weeks. Mangoes account for some 40 per cent of India’s total fruit exports and it is the world’s largest producer of the crop, with about 21 million tons harvested in the year to June. However, exports – around 50,000 tons in a good year – have been dealt a heavy blow by pandemic disruptions such as lockdown restrictions and higher freight costs.
About US$28 million worth of fresh mangoes were exported from India between April last year and this February, official figures show, against a high of around US$195 million worth of the fruits and their associated products in 2016.
To attract more custom, the agricultural export arm of India’s commerce ministry has organized virtual buyer-seller meet-ups and held mango festivals in Bahrain, Kuwait, and Qatar recently. Embassies in Japan, South Korea and Dubai have been roped in as well, hosting mango-tasting events and sending out promotional consignments of the fruit to local Indian restaurants.