The first container will leave from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at Navi Mumbai on Sunday and reach Newark city in​ New Jersey by the first week of July

PUNE To bring down the logistics cost by up to 10 per cent and capture the overseas market, Indian mangoes will now be exported to the United States by sea route. The first container will leave from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) at Navi Mumbai on Sunday and reach Newark city in​ New Jersey by the first week of July.

According to Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) deputy manager Bhaskar Patil, with the sea route, the cost of transportation will come down to Rs55 to Rs60 per kg.

“We have sent 16,560 kg mangoes in 5,520 boxes to JNPT on Friday (June 3). They would be dispatched on June 5 and would reach the US by the first week of July,” said Patil.

In 2019, mangoes from the country were exported by the sea route to London after air freight rates went up following the stoppage of flights from Jet Airways. The same year, Indian firms tried to send mangoes to the US via sea though the attempt failed.

While officials from MSAMB were exploring the sea route for mango export to the US, it was seen inviable given the duration to reach the destination against the short shelf life of the fruit. Finally, the first consignment is now ready to be transported via sea by Sanap Agro Pvt Limited.

According to MSAMB’s executive director Sunil Pawar, this is a historic moment as for the first-time Indian mangoes will be exported by sea route to the US.

“The existing air freight rates are so costly that it takes ₹550 per kg of mango as logistics cost. Through the sea route, it will come down to 10 per cent of the air freight rate to reach the US market. It will also help Indian farmers to send a large number of mangoes to the US as there is good demand there,” Pawar said.

According to MSAMB officials, three different organisations including Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC), MSAMB, and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) worked together to make export by sea route successful. In the year 2019, MSAMB tried to export mangoes by sea to the US market. While the mangoes took 38 days to reach, there was no proper treatment done. “Now BARC has worked on all the shortcomings and mangoes are being exported,” said Pawar.

As per the MSAMB, during 2019, around 1,200 metric tonnes of mangoes were exported to the US. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, mango export was limited in 2020 and 2021.

As the shelf life of mangoes is less, BARC has helped to increase preservation by carrying out various treatments at its Navi Mumbai centre. The BARC had set up the irradiation centre known at Lasalgaon in Nashik and another at Navi Mumbai to treat agriculture commodities for their preservation for an extended period.

BARC bioscience director TK Ghanti said, “BARC is helping MSAMB to increase the shelf life and storage limit for the fresh fruits and agricultural commodities.”

Source : Hindustan Times