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

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid

World Currencies

EUR
USD
0.7893
JPY
USD
107.68
GBP
USD
0.6238
CAD
USD
1.1214
INR
USD
61.185

Rates may not be current.