New York: A year after ban on Indian mango imports was lifted, Indian exporters are pressing US regulators to ease certain stringent requirements that are escalating the cost of Indian mango in this country.
Indian mangoes are among the costliest in the United States, the biggest importer of the fruit with annual consumption of 250,000 tons, and officials say the cost of a box of 12 Indian mangoes could be brought down to $15 from the present $30-35, if these requirements are removed.
After lifting of the 18-year ban on the import of the fruit from India, mangoes worth $1 million were exported to the US last year, and the figure is likely to go up to around $7 million this year, Asit Tripathy, chairman of Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority , told reporters here.
He said Indian mangoes have to be irradiated before being exported to the United States as per the requirements of the regulators and that adds to the cost — around $150,000 per year. He expressed the hope that as the volume increases, the cost would come down.
Tripathy said that APEDA, the apex body of exporters which is spearheading efforts to popularize mangoes, is discussing with regulators the possibility of the fruits being tested on arrival in the US and of random checking rather than each batch being certified separately.
Also some laboratories in India could be authorized to certify that the mangoes are safe.