Singapore should consider imposing some curbs, allowing import only from May each year
March and April are when we get inferior mangoes
The world loves succulent Indian mangoes, something they get to savour only for around two-to-three months from May-July. That is the period when the best mangoes hit the market. But this year this year those in Europe will have to miss that with the EU ban on Indian mangoes taking effect today.
The ban was imposed because traditionally Indian mangoes have been found to be infested with random flies/bugs. It is good news for mango lovers in India as prices have started to dip because of the ban.
This is yet another instance to show that the Indian government has hardly done anything right over the years – including being slapped with a ban on Indian participation in the Olympics because of the issue of corrupt officials being in charge of sports administration in the country.
“Mango” People: I will avoid wandering into politics and stick to mangoes. But not without recalling the infamous statement of Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law Robert Vadra, whereby he called India a banana republic and dubbed anti-corruption activists mango people.
He has been the Achilles’ heel of the Congress and will be one of the main reasons the party is facing a whitewash in the ongoing elections in India.
Timebound Import Ideal: I would think instead of a blanket ban, it will be good to set a timeframe for import of mangoes. March and April are when the world gets the lousiest of mangoes from India, and at high prices. Why should we pay high for something that is just trash?
The import should perhaps be allowed only for the mid-May and July period when better quality mangoes enter the market from plantations.
Shops in Singapore, for instance, started selling Alfonso, Banganapalli and other Indian mangoes in March itself. Since I knew that they will be bland in March I avoided buying them.
But in April I could not resist the temptation and picked up some only to regret it as they still tasted very ordinary. Alfonso mangoes were sold for more than S$10 per kilo, with Banganapalli going for S$5.90 at Mustafa’s. They cost more than double the price of mangoes from, say, Thailand and Malaysia.
The Indian government has always been useless in managing exports, always busy looting the public and doing little to protect the country’s mango brand.
I tend to think that Singapore should allow mango imports only from mid-May for about three months.
G Joslin Vethakumar