New Delhi, July 5 : Mouth-watering varieties of mangoes from across the India are on display at the 20th Mango Festival.
The three-day mango festival, which commenced on Friday, has been organised by the Delhi Tourism Department in collaboration with the Government of Delhi.
At least 500 varieties of mangoes like Sirki, Suwarn, Jahangir, Neeleshwari, Royal SP, Amrapali, Langra, Alphonso, Mallika are being displayed for public viewing, besides the special varieties by Padmashree awardees.
A. K Singh, a senior scientist of the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) said that the systematic planning in the growth and distribution of mangoes in India is essential to tap the overseas mango market.
"We are the largest producer of mangoes in the world. If we want to tap the mangoes market overseas, whether it is in North America, Europe, Australia or Japan, then we have to put our focus in a very systematic manner to put on quality standards, develop it, sequenced supply chain reactions, storage facilities, quality and develop a variety which meets demands of the overseas market," said Singh.
The mango festival also provided a platform for orchard owners to reach out to prospective buyers.
The festival witnessed tremendous participation of traditional mango growers from various part of India who has gained expertise over the years.
"I have brought 210 varieties of mangoes here. Although weather conditions were not apt for the growth of mangoes in our area in winters, still I am able to bring good number of mangoes," said Tariq Mustafa, a grower from Muzaffarnagar.
Thousands of mango lovers are thronging the fair that offers sale of varied varieties of export worthy mangoes and mango-based products.
Mango eating competition for men and women is also a part of the fair that will conclude on Sunday.
The other attractions of the festival will be a 'mango quiz' and 'mango slogan writing competition' for children.
The festival of mangoes, which began in 1991, has now become an annual affair, attracting mango growers, traders and a large number of visitors to the national capital.
The festival was first held in Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, but shifted to New Delhi for better exposure.
Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu are major mango-growing states in India.
About 1,000 varieties of mangoes are grown in India, in an area of 2.5 million hectares.
India is the world's biggest producer of this tropical fruit contributing 59 per cent of total production, but its share in the world mango market is less than 15 per cent.
It exports about tones of mangoes every year to nearly 40 countries including Britain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Canada and now the Untied States. Mangoes account for around 39 per cent of the total fruit exports from India.