News / Economy

    Indian Mango Fans Ecstatic About Lower Prices

    Prices for Alphonso mangoes have crashed in India due to a ban by the European Union. In this photo, they are on sale in a supermarket in Delhi, India, May 7, 2014. (Anjana Pasricha/VOA)
    Prices for Alphonso mangoes have crashed in India due to a ban by the European Union. In this photo, they are on sale in a supermarket in Delhi, India, May 7, 2014. (Anjana Pasricha/VOA)
    Anjana Pasricha
    India and the European Union are involved in a trade spat over a recent ban on mangoes imposed by the EU. But many at home are ecstatic as local markets become flooded with the king of fruits, sending prices plummeting. 

    Purnima Dhir in New Delhi had stocked up on vegetable and fruits on the weekend. But after reading reports that prices of the prized Alphonso mango have crashed, she rushed back to a supermarket to pick up a variety whose high rate usually keeps it out of reach for middle class households. 

    “I am absolutely delighted. We can have our fill of it, I can’t believe it,” she said.
     
    Alphonsos are flooding local markets after the European Union imposed an 18-month ban on Indian mangoes along with a few other vegetables after finding fruit flies in some consignments.
     
    As the ban went into effect on May 1, prices of the famed Alphonso mango tumbled to their lowest in nearly two decades. They are selling at about $2.50 to $4 per kilogram - half their usual price.  
     
    The succulent mango is one of the few compensations of the scorching summer heat in the Indian plains. It comes in many varieties. But the top slot is occupied by the Alphonso mango, grown in a coastal belt of western Maharashtra state.
     
    King of mangoes

    Crowned as the King of mangoes, Alphonso’s texture and aroma have hugely raised its demand in countries ranging from Japan to Europe and led to spiraling prices at home. That has forced most Indians to satisfy their mango craving with more affordable varieties.
     
    But even as ecstatic consumers take advantage of the Alphonso glut, the European ban is a blow to exporters in Mumbai, the hub of the mango trade.    
     
    A director at the Agriculture Produce Market Committee in Mumbai, Sanjay Pansare, is concerned that the issue could affect a lucrative market in the long run.   “We are not worried about the prices, what we are worried is we are going to lose the European market, that is the main problem,” Pansare explained.
     
    Exporters are already adding up their losses. Bharat Pawar is the manager of Shree Ganesh Fruit Stall in Mumbai.   
     
    He said at least half his export orders have been cancelled. He is now selling in the local market.    
     
    Criticism, protests

    The ban has drawn criticism among authorities in New Delhi. They have asked the European Union to reconsider the ban and even threatened to take the issue to the World Trade Organization. India says an elaborate examination and certification procedure has been put in place to address Europe’s concerns.  
     
    And while Indians gorge on Alphonsos, its disappearance from European markets has also led to protests in Britain, home to a large Asian population.
     
    After a British lawmaker of Indian origin, Keith Vaz, called the ban “Euro nonsense” and called for a reversal, Prime Minister David Cameron promised to discuss the issue after a new Indian Prime Minister takes office later this month.
     
    Indeed, the mango is accustomed to being the stuff of diplomacy. New Delhi has often given the prized fruit to foreign leaders. And in 2006 India and the U.S. struck what is known as a mango for bikes deal - New Delhi reportedly allowed the import of Harley Davidson motorcycles in exchange for Washington lifting an 18-year ban on mango imports.

    You May Like

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Before burial at overflowing cemeteries, unidentified dead being swapped for DNA, in case some day relatives come to learn their fate

    Russian Opposition Leader Sues Putin for Conflict of Interest

    Alexei Navalny tells VOA in exclusive interview why transfer of $2 billion from country’s wealth fund to company with ties to President Putin’s son-in-law triggered lawsuit

    Clinton, Sanders Fight for African American Votes

    Some African American lawmakers lining up to support Clinton in face of perceived surge by Sanders in race for Democratic nomination in presidential campaign

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    NATO to Target Migrant Smugglersi
    X
    Jeff Custer
    February 11, 2016 4:35 PM
    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
    Video

    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.

    World Currencies

    EUR
    USD
    0.8883
    JPY
    USD
    114.96
    GBP
    USD
    0.6869
    CAD
    USD
    1.3858
    INR
    USD
    67.855

    Rates may not be current.