MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Government has taken a slew of measures to promote the export of fruits and vegetables. In the last three months, the State has shipped around 2761.41 tonne fruits and vegetables valued at Rs 2,655.34 lakh through various export facilitation centres set up by the Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB). Maharashtra has exported mangoes, grapes, pomegranates, oranges, bananas, onion as well as vegetables such as lady finger, bitter gourd, drum sticks, green chillies among others to the European Union, Thailand, Netherlands, Doha, Bahrain and the US. Sunil Pawar, Managing Director of MSAMB, said that the marketing board has established 44 facilities across the State, which include cold storage units, pre-cooling units and ripening chambers to encourage exports. “At least 20 facilitation centres have been opened for fruits and vegetables and three centres for flower exports,” he said.
With the mango season just beginning, MSAMB has set an export target of more than 52,000 tonne through these facilities. The first consignment of 12,000 kg of alphanso has already left for Italy and more exports are expected as the season progresses. Pawar said that last year around 52,000 tonne was exported to various countries, and as a good season is expected this year, a 15% rise is expected in mango exports. This year, total production is expected to touch 4 lakh tonne. Export to the US is expected to begin from April 1, while the shipment to Australia is expected to start from March 15. Japan and Korea are other major markets of Indian alphanso. MSAMB with the help of APEDA has set up temperature control pack house along with packing line, pre cooling and cold storage at Vashi, Navi Mumbai for the exporters. Besides, the vapour heat treatment (VHT) facility has also been set up with the help of APEDA.