Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mango Mania: First Indian Mangoes Arrive in the US

Varieties of mangoes grown in India: More than 1,000, in varying shapes, colors, and tastes.

Amount of time India has grown mangoes: 6,000 years

Percent world mango production grown in India: 50%

India's exports as a percent of world mango trade: 1%

Price of fresh mango juice in Mumbai: Rs. 20 (50 cents)

The year India first applied to export mangoes to the U.S.: 1989 (18 years ago)

Reason for the ban on Indian mangoes until 2007 and India's overall low export levels: Mangoes can harbor the mango seed weevil, a pest absent from North America.

First delivery of Indian mangoes to US: April 27, 2007

Reason the ban on India mangoes was lifted: The U.S. Agriculture Department decided in 2006 to allow the importation of Indian mangoes if they were treated with low doses of irradiation to kill or sterilize insects.

Number of India mango varieties available in US this season: 3 (Alphonso, Kesar and Banganpalli)

Price of Indian Mangoes compared to mangoes from Central and South America (Ataulfo variety): 3-5 times more expensive

#1 Import Country for Mangoes into the U.S.: Mexico's mangos (Ataulfo variety), currently 60% of U.S. market share

Read more here (NY Times), here (LA Times), and here (Wash Post).


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