HYDERABAD: South Koreans have finally got a chance to taste the delicious Indian mango. Consignments of a few varieties of the ‘King of fruits' reached Seoul at the end of the last week.
The initial consignment of 2.5 tonnes was airlifted the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA)’s Cargo Terminal, operated by Hyderabad Menzies Air Cargo. In June 2016, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in India Cho Hyun had said that all hurdles for exports had been removed and the mangoes would be going to South Korea soon.
“Normally mangoes from the Philippines flood the market. “Indian mangoes have a big market here if properly marketed. Cost is not a problem. The Philippine varieties are much cheaper,” says Ram Garikapati, an Indian-origin professional settled in Seoul.
India exports 4,500 tonnes of mangoes annually. The fruit goes mainly to West Asia, the US, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. Exports to Japan, South Asian nations and the EU are low due to import issues there.
Teams from the GMR Hyderabad International Airport Limited (GHIAL), which operates the airport, and Hyderabad Menzies Air Cargo. worked with the farmer community at Vizianagaram to develop a pack-house, create markets, get requisite approvals and the export Suvarnarekha variety of mangoes to South Korea.
With this, RGIA becomes the first airport in India to facilitate export of mangoes to South Korea directly through a farm-based infrastructure. The export volume to South Korea is expected to grow up to 10 tonnes per day for the rest of the season, it said.
GHIAL and Hyderabad Menzies are in the process of identifying and enabling similar infrastructure across the catchment areas in Telangana State, Andhra Pradesh, Northern Karnataka and Eastern Maharashtra among others to boost exports.
According to Sudhakar, DGM of APEDA, “Telangana and AP are the largest producers of mangoes in India, with a 25 per cent share.”
Says SGK Kishore, CEO of GHIAL: “Our effort to diversify into perishables exports has been realised now with the initiative of mango exports to South Korea. We will establish a dedicated perishables handling facility at the Airport soon.”