Special Correspondent

Export of mangoes to Japan

TIRUPATI: India’s second and south India’s first Integrated Pack House and vapour heat treatment facility for mangoes would go on stream at Tirupati on Monday under public-private partnership system. The Rs. 13.35-crore plant is being set up at Tirupati as a common facility for farmers of the mango-rich Chittoor and Kadapa districts to export to Japan ‘Benishan’ variety of mangoes called in the desi market as ‘Banganapalle’.

The plant is being set up by the APEDA, a nodal agency working under the purview of the Union Ministry of Commerce and Industries. The agency has sunk into the project Rs. 9.70 crore.

The plant would provide ‘cold-chain linkage’ from the farmers’ orchards to the market to retain quality.

Besides farmers who will be given the top priority, the facility also could be used by others like farmers’ associations, cooperatives, exporters and importers and private sector on ‘use and pay basis’.

The Pack House plant with a capacity to handle 3 tonnes of mangoes per hour would do desapping, pre-cooling, cleaning, hot-water washing, sorting, grading, packing, vapour heat treatment (a pre-condition imposed by Japan for export of mangoes from India into the country), cold store and ripening. The VHT system uses heated air saturated with water vapour to heat perishable food commodities to a specified temperature and holds that temperature for a specified period to ensure that all pests inside the fruits are killed. The VHT facility would save farmers from post-harvest losses which is put at 20 to 25 per cent, achieve improved productivity, better value realisation for their produce, increase in shelf life and the reach.

A similar project would be commissioned on July 1 at Nuzivedu in Krishna district.