Indian Embassy organised virtual Meet on Indian Mangoes
Remarks by Ambassador at the Virtual Meet on Indian Mangoes, April 28, 2021
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to Embassy of India, Kuwait.
We are in difficult times. We are fighting a pandemic. People are dying. Families are suffering. The world is mourning. Almost everyone in the planet is facing many difficulties posed by the pandemic. The reports coming in from all across the world, including India is one of many challenges. Governments, international bodies, NGOs, all are working towards helping each other in addressing the challenges that we face in India, in Kuwait and everywhere. Yesterday Foreign Minister of Kuwait His Excellency Shiekh Ahmed Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah had a telephone conversation with his counterpart Dr. S. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister. In line with our continuing health cooperation between India and Kuwait they discussed practical steps to meet the current challenges. India and Kuwait have always stood side by side in good and bad times, and during this whole year of pandemic, have helped each other.
We are doing everything that we could do to address the many challenges we face together. In coming days and weeks we will continue to focus on the ways and means on how to address the challenges that we face and save lives. I just came from a meeting with the Director General of Public Authority of Industry on dispatch of oxygen to India. I am leaving for another meeting with the Assistant Foreign Minister to discuss further cooperation in our fight against Covid 19.
During these last few days, I was discussing with my colleagues in the Embassy and members of the community on whether this is the right time to organize a buyer seller meeting on Indian mangoes. Nature will not stop for us and fruits will not wait to ripen, hence, as the mango season begins, we decided to organize this Virtual Buyer Seller Meet on Indian Mangoes to make sure that Indian exporters and Kuwaiti importers come on one platform, exchange contacts and prepare for trade in.
We in the Embassy will continue to do everything we can do to assist the community to face the challenges of Covid 19 pandemic, such as medical assistance and other welfare activities including supply of food and food materials. At the same time we will continue to organize various business interactions and meetings, we will continue to hold buyer seller meetings in coming weeks and months. India is at the heart of global supply chain especially when it comes to food. We kept the supply chain open even during the height of Covid 19 pandemic last year. We continue to keep it open now. This would help Indian farmers, Indian business and our customers all across the world.
Mango is the best example, a symbol for us, to keep up the momentum in our lives, sweetness in our lives, even in the middle of a pandemic. What do Indian mangoes represent today? It is the best example India’s agricultural success story. India ranks second in fruits and vegetables production in the world. The area under cultivation of fruits is over seven million hectares while vegetables were cultivated over ten million hectares. Mangoes, Grapes, Pomegranates, Bananas, Oranges account for larger portion of fruits exported by India while Onions, Mixed Vegetables, Potatoes, Tomatoes, and Green Chilly contribute largely to the vegetable export basket. Though India's share in the global market is still very low, there is increasing acceptance of Indian fruits and vegetables and other agricultural produce across the globe. This has occurred due to concurrent developments in the areas of state-of-the-art cold chain infrastructure and quality assurance measures taken by both public and private sectors. Mango is the most important commercially grown fruit crop of India. It is called the king of fruits. India has the richest collection of mango cultivars. India is the largest producer of mangoes globally. Last year India produced around 21 million metric tonnes of mangoes, which accounted for more than half of all mangoes produced globally.
I was looking at the data of Indian agricultural products in Kuwait, nearly 50% of cereals come from India; over 15% of vegetables come from India; 18% of fish comes from India; and around 10% of fruit comes from India, which includes our topic of the day mangoes. I have a simple basic question. If 50% of cereals come from India, why can’t we have 50% fruits from India? There is huge scope of improving our numbers; my target is to double the export of fruits and vegetables this year. This is the year of 60th anniversary of our diplomatic relations; next year is 75th anniversary of India’s independence. My target is to ensure that every Kuwaiti family here and every Indian and foreigner in Kuwait enjoys an Indian mango during this anniversary year. Alphonso mangoes are amongst the most loved varieties and as in India, the consumers here eagerly wait for these mangoes to arrive in the market. I have heard stories from many of my Kuwaiti friends on how their forefathers and families enjoyed Indian Alfonso and other Indian mangoes during their stay in India. India offers the best mangoes; let’s double its export to Kuwait in 2021 and 2022. A box of Indian mangoes in every Kuwaiti family in 2021 and 2022 is my target.
I acknowledge the presence of Dr A Angamuthu, Chairman of Agricultural & Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA) to today’s program. Shri Ashok Kalra, advisor to Indian Business Network is here. I also welcome our speakers today- Shri Bidyut Baruah of APEDA, Shri Shaikh Ekram Hussain and Shri Ajesh Unnikrishnan. I also acknowledge the presence of our major importers of mangoes. I look forward to working with each one of you to promote Indian mangoes in Kuwait. I look forward to a useful interaction today.