After a failed attempt in 2019, India exports mangoes to the United States by sea from Navi Mumbai
PUNE To reduce logistics costs by up to 10% and conquer the foreign market, Indian mangoes will now be exported to the United States by sea. The first container will depart from Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) in Navi Mumbai on Sunday and will reach the city of Newark in New Jersey by the first week of July.
According to Deputy Director of Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB), Bhaskar Patil, with the sea route, the cost of transport will come down to Rs55 to Rs60 per kg.
“We sent 16,560 kg of mangoes in 5,520 crates to the JNPT on Friday June 3. They would ship on June 5 and reach the United States by the first week of July,” Patil said.
In 2019, the country’s mangoes were exported by sea to London after air freight rates rose following the cessation of Jet Airways flights. In the same year, Indian companies tried to send mangoes to the United States by sea, but the attempt failed.
As MSAMB officials explored the sea route for exporting mangoes to the United States, it was considered unviable given the length of time needed to reach the destination compared to the fruit’s short shelf life. Finally, the first shipment is now ready to be transported by sea by Sanap Agro Pvt Limited.
According to MSAMB Executive Director Sunil Pawar, this is a historic moment as for the first time Indian mangoes will be exported by sea to the United States.
“Current air freight rates are so expensive that you have to ₹550 per kg of mango as logistics cost. By sea, it will cost 10% 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 United States as the demand there is good,” Pawar said.
According to MSAMB officials, three different organizations, including the Bhabha Atomic Research Center (BARC), MSAMB and the Agricultural and Processed Food Export Development Authority (APEDA), worked together to ensure the success of the exports by sea. In 2019, MSAMB attempted to export mangoes by sea to the US market. Although the mangoes took 38 days to arrive, no proper processing was done. “Now BARC has worked out all the shortcomings and the mangoes are being exported,” Pawar said.
According to the MSAMB, in 2019, around 1,200 metric tons of mangoes were exported to the United States. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, mango exports were limited in 2020 and 2021.
As the shelf life of mangoes is less, BARC has helped increase shelf life by carrying out various treatments at its center in Navi Mumbai. BARC had set up the known irradiation center at Lasalgaon in Nashik and another at Navi Mumbai to process agricultural products for preservation for an extended period.
BARC Director of Biosciences, TK Ghanti, said, “BARC helps MSAMB to increase the shelf life and storage limit of fresh fruits and agricultural products.