Melbourne, April 24:

Indian mangoes, including Alphonso and Kesar, could soon be exported to Australia, thanks to revised protocols that allow for imports from India as long as the produce has been irradiated.

The riders

According to Robert Gray from the Australian Mango Industry Association, mango imports from India this year could be of the order of 200-300 tonnes.

The Indian mangoes will, however, be for sale outside of the Australian mango season.

“Our position is that, as part of global trade, if we want access to other countries around the world (to export Australian mangoes), and providing the protocol is safe and not bringing in any pests or diseases, we’re supportive of other countries having access to our market,” said Gray.

India could not export mangoes to Australia until now due to tough phyto-sanitary conditions that require irradiation treatment and inspection prior to the shipment.

But with the rules being tweaked, mango farmers in India are getting ready to take advantage of the opportunity.

New opportunity

“We have been primarily exporting to the US and the UK, but now with the Australian market opening up, we have another opportunity,” said a mango grower in Maharashtra.

This could be good news for mango farmers in Maharashtra’s coastal districts of Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, home to the famed Alphonso mangoes, which are facing depressed prices.

Mango farmers’ problems have been compounded by arrivals of Alphonso look-alikes from Karnataka; the fruit looks similar to Alphonso, but tastes very different.

Karnataka mangoes actually cost about ₹150 per dozen, but get sold as Alphonso with prices in the range of ₹600-900.