While the unorganised sector exports about 1,000 tonnes of mango from Karnataka every year, only about 100-200 tonnes is exported in an organised manner through Mumbai and Chennai, said Dr G K Vasanth Kumar, an agriculture expert.
Speaking to the media here on Wednesday, Vasanth Kumar, also the former Special Secretary, Food Processing and Harvest Technology, said Karnataka produces over eight lakh tonnes of mangoes annually. Private exporters from Mumbai and Chennai buy the produce from Karnataka and sell it under their tag. This is happening because the State does not have the proper export licences. No attention was paid to this sector, until the European Union (EU) banned the export of mangoes.
Speaking on the occasion, Additional Director of Horticulture (Fruits and Floriculture) K M Parashivamurthy said after the EU lifted the ban this year, 100 tonnes of mangoes have been sent by road from Dharwad to Mumbai from where private traders have exported them.
He said a team of experts and health inspectors from the EU were supposed to visit Malur for permitting packaging and exporting on May 20. But they have not yet come. They only visited and re-certified the Lasalgaon plant in Maharashtra, he said.
Vasanth Kumar explained that getting permits is not easy. Apart from clearance from the Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) many other protocols have to be completed before the accreditation.
Karnataka is lacking here which has led to the delay in obtaining a direct export licence. The list of protocols for USA include - registering quarantined area, farmer registration, pack-house registration, good agricultural practice certification and of gender addressing. There are different protocols for different countries like Japan, Australia and Gulf nations which need to be complied with, he said.
Mango mela will be held at Lalbagh from May 29 to June 27. Chief Minister Siddaramaiah will inaugurate the mela organised by the Karnataka State Mango Development and Marketing Federation (KSMDMF); Horticulture Department; University of Agricultural Sciences, Bengaluru; Indian Institute for Horticultural Research and Hopcoms.
Thirty varieties of mangoes and five varieties of jackfruits will be on display and sale. For the first time, 20 registered jackfruit farmers will be participating. There will be 105 stalls. KSMDMF is also trying to bring growers from Gulf countries and the neighbouring states to participate in the mela.