Ghulab Khas, Digha Malda or Zardalu, the succulent varieties of mangoes from Bihar, may fly overseas this season.
In view of a bumper crop, some exporters are considering sending these juicy fruits to the US market. Horticulture Department officials said at least 14 lakh tonnes of mangoes are expected to be produced over nearly 2 lakh hectares of land in Bihar this season.
"The export deal is yet to be finalised. Last year a private exporter from West Champaran had approached us for exporting mango varieties to the US. But it could not materialise due to some technical problems. The State has already been exporting Shahi and Chinese litchis to the Middle East and the US," Ajay Kumar Mishra, nodal officer, National Horticulture Mission (NHM) told HT.
The production of mangoes this time is expected to touch 14 lakh tonnes. Last year it was over 12 lakh tonnes, he said.
Varieties like Alphonso, a variety of South India, Dashahari (Uttar Pradesh), Amrapali or Prabhashankar are also available here.
"North Indians settled outside, especially Biharis, yearn for the local varieties. The exporters are targeting this segment," Shankar Jha, director, horticulture department said.
The mango crop this time is expected to be quite good. The production may further improve in the years to come as nearly 1,000 hectares of land have been added for mango plantation this year under the Chief Minister Gardening Mission. Mango, litchi and guava saplings have been planted in 19 districts of the State under the project, he said.
Mishra said the demand for local varieties have increased, but at the same time has also caused technical problems for the exporters. "They have short shelf life because of their sweetness. It can be improved with the vapour heat treatment (VHT). The processing will also remove fruit flies, turning them less perishable," he said. He also suggested setting up the VHT plant in the state for better packaging and more export of fruits.