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Thursday, Dec 19, 2002

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Mango pulp trade asked to cash in on global demand

Our Bureau

PUNE, Dec. 18

WITH the global demand for mango pulp growing at the rate of 10 per cent per annum, it is necessary to promote mango pulp from other premium varieties such as Keshar, Alphonso and Neelam to reduce pressure on Thotapuri variety.

India being a leading supplier of mango pulp to the global market, it was time to take stock of the production, said Mr Jayant Dixit, President and Chief Executive Officer, Pranav International, at a seminar on `maximising returns to mango growers and processors' organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Western Region.

About 80 per cent of mango pulp is consumed in fruit-based beverages, 15 per cent in dairy products and the remaining five per cent in baby foods, bakery and confectionaries segment.

Mr Dixit said with mango being a bi-annual crop, steps should be taken to have a two-year plan for supply and production of mango. To avoid wastage and for better utilisation of the produce, it was essential to have the efficient cold storages and quality processors, he said. The producers should also focus on better tasting products, he added.

He noted that despite producing about 50 mango varieties and equipped with large processing capacities, the huge price fluctuations, low shelf life of only 12 months, lack of cold storage facilities at processing plants and fluctuating working capital requirements hampered the domestic mango industry.

Mr Dixit also called for better marketing policies in line with international practices and sought an organised marketing arrangement.

Mr Sunil S. Borade, Export Advisor, Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB), said steps have been taken by the Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) to increase its exports to the US and the Japanese markets. He said the owing to the presence of fruit fly, exports to Japanese market had been poor and the US was not accepting the fruit because of stone weevil in the produce.

He said MSAMB with the help of Apeda had set up an imported `vapour heat treatment' plant at Vashi near Mumbai to treat the oriental fruit fly problem in fresh fruits and vegetables for exports to Japan, Australia, the US and other countries.

The VHT plant had been commissioned and exports are expected to start during the forthcoming season, he said. Material handling system, pre cooling and cold storage had been set up to supplement the VHT facility, he added.

Mr Borade said an export packaging facility had been set up at Kudal in Ratnagiri district for looking at exports by sea. He said with air cargo costs increasing, they were looking at the sea route and added that as a trial run, about 40 tonnes had been exported by MSAMB via sea.

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