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Mango show with a fruitful thrust

This is the month for mango mania. Come June 13, the greens in Alipore will turn into a mega mango mart, with over 30 varieties — including Alphonso, Totapuri, Himsagar, Dusseri, Chausa, Amrapali, Gulabkhas, Kishenbhog, Kessar and Langra — of the fruit on display during the first National Mango Show in the city.

Besides the display of mangoes and its various by-products, the three-day show — organised by the Agri Horticultural Society of India (AHSI) and the West Bengal government’s department of food processing industries & horticulture — will include technical sessions on scientific growing, smart packaging and sensible marketing of mangoes. “The state produces over 5.85 lakh tonnes of mango every year. But only a small portion is utilised for processing and export is negligible due to lack of timely availability of suitable and quality varieties and the absence of adequate logistics and infrastructure,” says Deepak Erasmus, secretary and CEO of AHSI.

According to the organisers, the objective of the three-day event is to address the existing problems of mango-growers and give a thrust to mango development in this part of the country. To have a fruitful discussion, the organisers are inviting growers, consumers, agriculture scientists and government officials. The show is organised under the aegis of the National Horticulture Board and Agriculture and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority. The topics of discussion on the second and third days of the show will include research preparedness for mangoes in the country, the commercial prospects, packaging and storing of the fresh fruit and value-added mango products.

There will also be a separate session, Kisan Goshthi Sammelan, where farmers will exchange their views and experiences of production and commercial aspects of mango cultivation. “Growers and researchers from other mango-growing states like Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Tamil Nadu will also take part in the meet,” added Erasmus. From West Bengal alone, over 250 growers have confirmed their participation.

The best growers will be awarded attractive prizes, promise the organisers. According to them, the biggest draw will surely be the Mango Bazaar, on the sprawling lawns of the 183-year-old Society. “Besides trying to develop mango cultivation in the state, we also wanted to give Calcuttans an opportunity to taste the best varieties of the fruit. So, we included the selling part in the show,” summed up Erasmus.

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