The march of the Indian mango

Make way for the king

It has already made its way to China. President George W Bush will announce its re-entry into the United States after a long time. The Indian government is making headway opening the doors to Australia, and even hard-to-reach Japan. The Indian mango is beginning to go places.

India is the world’s largest producer of mangoes and accounts for about 16% of the world’s mango exports. But it is the poorest in terms of yield. Poor productivity, low processing levels, inadequate infrastructure, lack of information and absence of modern marketing practices prevent India from exploiting its strength into a competitive advantage in the international mango market. The mango, it appears, epitomises the challenges faced by the Indian economy.

As Sonu Jain writes in the Indian Express, amid all the hoo-hah over nuclear separation the mango has escaped popular attention. Yet it is a big deal. And a tasty one.

9 thoughts on “The march of the Indian mango”

  1. Mangoes in the US (typically from Mexico) are really crummy. Most Americans dont’ know what a good mango tastes like. One major obstacle dealing with import is now gone.

    Indian food companies should market this abroad actively. I see a huge market for the mango.

  2. Way to go. Ved, sepoy: concur completely. I have to buy *awful* Mexican mangos for mango pastries in our 2 bakery outlets. We do use the pulp from India (avaliable in all Indian stores) – but the chunks or fresh fruit is the ghastly Mexican stuff. Having roots in Goa, I’m particularly biased towards the hapus and alphonso mangos, though I’d glady settle for the Ratnagiri ones over the ones from Mexico. My palate tingles already 🙂

  3. But guys, you do know that in the short term the supply is inelastic and this would mean that a generation of Indian kids will grow up without ever tasting mangoes. The rich around the world — China, India, US, Australia — will gorge themselves on it and the poor kids will never see one.

    The increase in the supply of mangoes prompted by the profits in that business due to price rise will take 10 years to materialize.

    Currently the good mangoes are selling at 1000 rupees a dozen. Let me put that in perspective. In India, the average Indian would have to work for three weeks to be able to pay for one dozen mangoes.

  4. Best Mangoes in the World are from the ity and District of Multan located in Punajb in central Pakistan.

    Neither India nor any other place can produce such lovely mangoes as grown in Multan, Pakistan.

    Intrested Parties who want to export mangoes from Pakistan should contact Pakistani exportors through Export Promotion Bureu of Pakistan through follwing web site:

  5. Dear Nitin,
    An interesting tidbit fm Dubya’s trip to Hyderabad:

    Ha… mangoes,” exclai-med Mr Bush at a stall displaying Banganpalli, Dashera and Alphonsa varieties of mangoes produced on the Angrau campus. Dr Reddy told Mr Bush that AP was the biggest exporter of mangoes. Pat came the reply: “Best. You will be selling mangoes to the US.” A deal is underway in Delhi to export mangoes to the US.

    C.Rajghatta of TOI hd done a piece on Aam some nine months ago.Notice the bit about Mulgova seedlings brought to Florida
    in 1945.Well, MMS may nt hv brought Banganapaali during 7m/05 WH visit, but Dubya got to see the B’palli on its home turf the other day.

    In another 18 mths, we wl be cupping and caressing the deshi aam right here in the brave new world.

    Aam Diplomacy ki Jai !


    Att: ToI Eds/Desk

    Pulp Affliction: Can we swap mangoes for F-16s?

    From Chidanand Rajghatta

    Washington: Aamchi Alphonso versus America’s Tommy
    Atkins. Apna Dussehri versus unka Duncan. Luscious
    Langra versus Jamaican Julie. India’s legendary King
    of Fruits is going up against the best of rest in a
    mango festival this weekend in distant Florida.

    While it is customary for sub-continental leaders to
    practice mango diplomacy (especially between India and
    Pakistan), it is unlikely that Prime Minister Manmohan
    Singh will present George Bush with a basket of
    Baganapalli or Badami when he visits Washington next
    week. But if the efforts of Fairchild Tropical
    Botanical Garden in Florida (Jeb Bush’s home state)
    bear fruit, it might be possible down the line to
    introduce India’s greatest delicacy to the United
    States in a big way.

    Indian mangoes are the flavor at Fairchild’s 12th
    international mango festival with Alphonso, Neelam,
    Alampur Baneshan, Imam Pasand, Mallika among the trees
    and fruit on display. Serving the cause of the fruit
    that originated in India (hence the tree is named
    Mangifera Indica) is culinary diva Madhur Jaffrey who
    will speak about the mango in Indian culture and
    cuisine, demonstrate making mango derivatives, and
    judge a mango chutney contest.

    Although India is the world’s largest producer of
    mangoes, accounting for around 12 million tons, or
    more than 50 per cent of the world’s output, Indian
    produce has no place in American grocery stores and
    supermarkets, where fruit from neighboring Mexico and
    other Caribbean, Latin American countries dominate.

    One reason for this, besides the U.S quarantine of
    agricultural products from the region, is that
    Americans are said to prefer looks to taste. India
    also has poor cold chain network and distribution
    channels, resulting in export of a niggardly 25,000
    tons, worth peanuts, mainly to the Gulf and SE Asia,
    while the American market remains untouched.

    Indian production is also sub-par, an average three
    tons per acre yield compared to around 10-15 tons in
    Latin America and the Caribbean.

    But all that could be changing with growers and
    merchants cottoning on to the possibilities, say
    experts from India.

    A farmer in Amreli, Gujarat, recently produced jumbo
    kesars weighing between half to one kilo each, a vast
    improvement on the traditional kesars from the region.
    And in recognition of the silent and barely chronicled
    fruit and vegetable revolution (the second green
    revolution) sweeping across India, Reliance Industries
    has moved into mango and other fruit cultivation
    outside its refinery in Jamnagar.

    Indeed, if the United States and the west opens up to
    Indian mangoes and allows New Delhi to reap the
    financial fruits its exports, the lolly could well pay
    for the F-16s and other boy-toys the country might end
    up buying from America.

    Not that Indian mangoes haven’t made a backdoor
    entry into America. Legend has it that two U.S
    varieties, the Haden and Keitt, were derived from a
    1945 seedling of Mulgoba, a variety grown mainly in
    South India. But Florida’s modest 4000 acres of
    mango plantation is not capacious enough to
    accommodate the 1000 commercial varieties that have
    evolved in India over a period of 4000 years.

  6. all tasty indian varieties should be exported, no just the super expensive alphonso. I in India have personnaly eatten many very bery cheap mangoes that tasted far better then the alphonso.

    What is a indian mango doing with a non-desi name “alphonso”! Have some pride rename it Ranjit or Ranjit Singha! Or Gurparshad etc!

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