Envisioning Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision to increase the income of Indian farmers, GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL), which operates Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad announced it has started exporting mangoes to South Korea. RGIA also plans to come up with a dedicated perishables handling facility at the airport.
Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA), Hyderabad has exported an initial commercial consignment of 2.5 tonnes of Indian mangoes for the first time to South Korea through its cargo terminal, which is operated by Hyderabad Menzies Air Cargo Pvt Ltd (HMACPL). With this, RGIA becomes the first airport in India to facilitate export of mangoes to South Korea directly from a farm-based infrastructure.
GHIAL and HMACPL teams have worked with the farmer community at Vizianagaram facility for developing a pack-house, creating markets, commissioning this project with requisite approvals from the government and exporting Suvarnarekha variety of mangoes to South Korea. Mangoes being a seasonal fruit of high demand, export volume to South Korea is expected to grow up to 10 tonnes per day for the rest of the season.
Commenting on the development, SGK Kishore, CEO, GHIAL said, “Hyderabad being India’s Pharma capital, Pharmaceuticals have had the lion’s share of exports out of RGIA over the years. We have been on a constant lookout for increasing our perishables export base. The initiative of mango exports to South Korea will go a long way not only in expanding our perishable exports base but also in strengthening our global footprint. With the current demand and regular feedback from the traders, we are planning to come up with a dedicated perishables handling facility at the airport soon.”
As exports enable farmers to receive higher remuneration for their produce, there has been a strong focus by the Indian Government to increase exports of agricultural produce. RGIA and HMACPL teams have put in sustained efforts to develop requisite infrastructure at its cargo terminal, to facilitate exports to potential markets such as South Korea. To comply with the international norms to export perishable products, especially fruits and vegetables to developed countries, processing through Agricultural and Processed Food Products Exports Development Authority (APEDA), approved pack house is mandatory. HMACPL team has been a core member in the coordination committee comprising of APEDA, National Plant Protection Organisation (NPPO), Korean Delegation and Plant Quarantine to mentor and guide the farmers to compete with international export norms. Meanwhile, GHIAL and HMACPL are in the process of identifying and enabling similar infrastructure across the catchment areas in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, northern Karnataka and eastern Maharashtra among others, that can provide the requisite processing facility.
In order to boost the prospects of India’s mango exports to South Korea, GHIAL and HMACPL have been working closely with APEDA and NPPO. Welcoming the first shipment at RGIA, T Sudhakar, Deputy General Manager, APEDA, highlighted, “Telangana and Andhra Pradesh are the largest producers of mangoes in India with 25 pc share of which Banganapalli, Suvarnarekha, Cherukurasam and Neelum are the most famous varieties. Export opportunities provide attractive rates giving better returns to producers and farmers.”
India being the largest producer of mangoes has been exporting mangoes to several countries in west Asia, United States of America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.
RGIA has been collaborating with various exporters and regulatory bodies to make this feat possible. Soon Indian mangoes would compete in Mango Festival happening at Seoul with varieties from Pakistan, Vietnam, Thailand and Philippines.