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FRUITS & VEGETABLE

Global Kokan Mango Fest, mkt for organic farmers, to conclude in Mumbai
Tuesday, 08 May, 2018, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, Mumbai
The Global Kokan Mango Festival, a week-long event that concludes at Nehru Science Centre, Worli, Mumbai, on May 8, 2018, made the largest platform available for the buyers in Mumbai and direct farmers from Maharashtra’s Konkan region, besides creating an open and straight market for organic mango farmers, producer companies and farmer co-operative associations from across the region.

It was organised by Kokan Bhumi Pratisthan, Nehru Science Centre and the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, Government of India, in association with Maharashtra State Agricultural Marketing Board (MSAMB) and Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA).

In the wake of Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Maharashtra seizing huge quantities of artificially-ripened mangoes in the city, this initiative by Kokan Bhumi Pratisthan was a boon. Almost 15 key farmer co-operative associations from Devgadh, Ratnagiri and Kelshi, along with Ratnavasundhara and Sindhudurg Farmer Producer Association, representing 100 mango farm owners, captured the Mumbai market  directly, making available naturally-ripened, authentic Alphonso mangoes to the mango lovers at the fair.

The inaugural day of the event witnessed the flagging off of the Farmer’s Mango Bazaar and Convention, which highlighted topics like mango cultivation and farming technology. Critical infrastructure set-ups for the export of mangoes, like hot water treatment facility, vapour heat treatment facility and irradiation facility, were also showcased, thus providing an enriching platform for mango producers and cultivators for better growth of the fruit.

India’s mango exports were estimated at over 50,000 tonnes last fiscal. The main export destinations included the United States, the Middle-East, Japan and the European Union (EU). Sanjay Yadavrao, founder, Kokan Bhumi Pratishthan, shared, “The aim of the event is to educate and create awareness on organic and naturally-ripened mangoes.”

“Also, it will highlight and appeal to the government for the much-needed geographical indication (GI) tag for the Alphonso (Hapus) varieties of mangoes, which is the monopoly of the Konkan belt, thus boosting the export market and curbing the sale of fake Alphonso mangoes in the name of Alphonso for the benefit of the farmer and not the supply chain. The GI tag for the Alphonso mango will surely protect its exclusivity and distinctiveness, going forward,” he added.

Yadavrao said, “With support from APEDA and other partner organisations, the programme will thus facilitate the export market for the farmers directly. About 30 leading importers from these countries are participating in the event.”

Mumbai receives a major chunk of its Alphonsos from Sindhudurg, Ratnagiri, and Raigad in Maharashtra. Other varieties in demand in the city are Pirie, Badami, Kesar, Lalbag and Totapuri. Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka are also major contributors of different varieties.

The event was attended by dignitaries like Subhash Deshmukh, minister of cooperation, marketing and textile, Government of Maharashtra; Madhav Bhandari, minister, relief and rehabilitation, Vijay Gautam, principal secretary, Government of Maharashtra, and Prashant Waghmare, assistant general manager, APEDA,  amongst others.
 
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