Mango exporters unhappy over discontinuation of subsidy

Tanaji Khot
Friday, 30 March 2018

Pune: Mango exporters in the state are unhappy with the government's decision of discontinuing export subsidy which otherwise encouraged exporters in a big way to export mangoes. The exporters claimed that due this apathy, they are unable to sell mangoes at a competitive price and which is affecting their export. However, sources from Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) said, "These allegations are baseless as the nature of subsidy was temporary and it was withdrawn in 2016 but has played no negative role as far as mango exports are concerned." 

Pune: Mango exporters in the state are unhappy with the government's decision of discontinuing export subsidy which otherwise encouraged exporters in a big way to export mangoes. The exporters claimed that due this apathy, they are unable to sell mangoes at a competitive price and which is affecting their export. However, sources from Maharashtra State Agriculture Marketing Board (MSAMB) said, "These allegations are baseless as the nature of subsidy was temporary and it was withdrawn in 2016 but has played no negative role as far as mango exports are concerned." 

MSAMB said that Maharashtra is one such state where infrastructure is in place which includes radiation, vapour and heat treatment plant, so each year, the export from the state is increasing.

Last year, mango export from India had reached 52,000 tonnes mark. According to exporters, 20 per cent rise is expected this year. MSAMB said that Maharashtra constitutes 70-80 per cent of overall mango export. 

Ekram Hussain, a leading exporter in Vashi Market in Navi Mumbai said, "The assistance for transportation has been stopped by the government step by step. This year, there is no assistance from the government. It has become difficult for exporters to continue their business. There is a further scope of increase in export but government assistance is required for the same."

Abhijeet Bhasale, city-based mango exporter told Sakal Times, "With the opening of new export destinations, the mango export is likely to increase this year." 

Since mangoes are perishable, the transportation cost increases the cost of production. This is paying negative impact on the price competitiveness as the produce from other countries is being sold at a cheaper price, Bhasale added.

Bhasale said, "Earlier, the government used to participate in the trade fair in different countries and this was helping exporters tremendously. But the expenditure on such promotional activities has been also reduced from Rs 2 crore to Rs 50 lakh only."

India is a leading producer of mangos but only one per cent of its total produce is being exported to different countries. Eighty per cent of the export goes to Gulf countries and only 20 per cent is being exported to first world countries.

In addition to this, the exporters claimed that due to unfavourable weather, the wait for mangoes will be longer this year. According to them, the prices of mangoes will remain on the higher side till the yield of late flowering hits the market from April onwards. They said that since this year, mango season will be shorter, a large quantity of mangoes is going to hit the market at the same time. The exporters said that due to this, a sharp decline is expected in the prices of mango this year. During this period, export of the mangoes is going to pick up.

A highly placed source from MSMB denied allegations by mango exporters and said that temporary subsidy was withdrawn in 2016. He added that despite this, 15-20 per cent increase was reported in 2017. He added that there is a huge demand for mangoes even in the domestic market and the fruit fetches a good price for the growers so there was no point in continuing this subsidy. 

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