Gujarat is shipping Kesar mangoes directly to the United States for the first time

Gujarat’s famous Kesar mango will be exported directly to the US for the first time this year.

The US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) approved the Gujarat agro-radiation processing facility last July.

Farmers and exporters can now increase their exports to the US. Gujarat Agro Industries Corporation Ltd (GAIC) developed the plant in Bavla near Ahmedabad. Hitherto, Kesar and Alphonso mangoes have been exported from Gujarat via Maharashtra.

A senior GAIC official said, “USDA-APHIS approved the Bavla Radiation Processing Facility last July. The upcoming mango season will be the first in which Gujarat exports mangoes directly to the US market. Currently, mangoes from Gujarat enter the US via Maharashtra, which means higher logistics costs. Our facility was ready in 2014, but approval was delayed. We believe that if the weather stays good, we will export about 400 tons of mangoes directly to the US between mid-April and June.”

India’s mango exports to the US last year totaled 813 tonnes worth Rs. 33.68 billion, according to the Agriculture and Export Development Agency for Processed Foods (APEDA).

Hiren Gandhi, former chair of the GCCI Food Committee, said: “The US requires mangoes and other food products to be subjected to irradiation that kills insects on the fruit. The irradiation facility will help Gujarat farmers get better prices for their Kesar mangoes in the international market. The US is a big market for mangoes and quality kesar will see good demand. This facility will also open up the Australian market for direct exports from Gujarat. Irradiation also increases the shelf life of mangoes by at least 25 days.”

Ashish Guru, Chairman of the Agriculture Committee of the Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), said: “Gujarat is a leading mango producer and our mangoes are of better quality than the Mexican mangoes sold in the US. It has been difficult to export mangoes directly from Gujarat, but with the irradiation facility in place, Gujarat-based exporters will be able to send mangoes to the US and fetch premium prices due to their superior quality.”

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