Government, industry ask EU to lift ban on India mango exports

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The government and exporter body FIEO have asked the European Union to lift a ban on mangoes shipped from India, saying concerns raised by the 28-nation bloc about the quality of the fruit have been addressed.

Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma has written to EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht regarding the matter.

On Monday, the EU banned the import of Alphonso mangoes, the king of fruits, and four vegetables from India for the period from May 1 to December 2015 after authorities found consignments infested with fruit flies.

"The EU informed India in mid-March about the issue and immediately after that we have put in place a strong mechanism for examination and certification of the commodity. We have already addressed their concerns," said Ajay Sahai, Director General of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations.

Sahai said plant quarantine officials are inspecting all consignments.

"So we have asked the EU to lift the ban," he added.

The ban was imposed on Alphonso mangoes, eggplants, the taro plant, bitter gourd and snake gourd to tackle "significant shortcomings in the phytosanitary certification system of such products exported to the EU."

Imports have been restricted as 207 consignments of mangoes and some vegetables shipped from India in 2013 were found to be contaminated by pests.

The UK imports almost 160 lakh mangoes from India and the market for this fruit is worth almost 6 million pounds a year.

India, the world's largest mango exporter, sells about 65,000-70,000 tonnes of all varieties of the fruit overseas out of its total production of 15-16 lakh tonnes.

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