Madhvi Sally, ET Bureau
Mangoes from Pakistan are giving a tough competition to local varieties in domestic and export markets this season. At the fag end of the season, Pakistan’s chausa and fazli varieties are coming through Poonch and Srinagar to the north Indian market.
In retail, Pakistani man goes are being sold at Rs 80 a kg while prices of the domestic crop are at Rs 150-200 a kg. “The taste is very sweet and the colour is good. Leading retailers are buying them as the prices are competitive,” said Chamanlal Dhingra, a leading mango trader at the Azadpur mandi in Delhi. Traders said the king of fruits first came from Pakistan in 2012 through Jammu and Kashmir in small quantities.
“This year, the harvest is good and we expect arrivals from Pakistan to continue for the next 15-20 days,” said Paramjeet Singh, owner of the Surjeet Mango Trader at Azadpur mandi, which is Asia’s largest fruits and vegetables market. The trader said more than 18 mantrucks of Pakistani mangoes arrived through Jammu and Kashmir on Saturday and over 8 trucks, each carrying 9-10 tonne, arrived on Monday.
Demand is largely coming from the Delhi national capital region, Punjab, Haryana and parts of Uttar Pradesh. “The Indian crop from the Saharanpur belt of Uttar Pradesh is available barely for the next 5-7 days. To meet the huge demand in the domestic market, mangoes from across the border are welcome,” said Singh. He said the fruit could not be sent to other parts of the country due to its short shelf-life.
With increasing demand and supplies, traders expect the prices to crash. “If arrivals of the Paksitani mangoes increase, prices may fall to Rs40-50 a kg,” said Dhingra. The crop was largely coming from Pakistan’s Punjab province. In New Delhi, Naeem Anwar, minister (trade), Pakistan High Commission, said mango was one of the major export items from Pakistan.
“In India, we think there is a good market for Pakistan’s mangoes like sindhri, anwar ratol, dusheri and chausa. However, a custom duty on mango at 35% and above is discouraging Pakistani traders and exporters,” he said adding that India and Pakistan were working to overcome the tariff and non-tariff barriers to ensure consumers get a taste of Pakistani varieties.