Ambassadors of as many as 15 countries will be in Lucknow [ Images ] on June 30 to participate in a mango party, to be hosted by the mango growers of Malihabad where new initiatives were being taken to push mango exports across the globe.
Even as Malihabad (about 20 km from Lucknow) has been a traditional mango hub for centuries, not much was done to promote its export in any big way.
The only attempt in all these decades that became visible was the setting up of a Central Mango Research Station in the eighties and more recently with the creation of a modern packaging unit by the Central government. The packaging unit did help the growers to provide better shelf life to the mango.
"But because of lack of marketing facilities, we decided to initiate some effort towards promoting the Malihabad mango; the association felt it could be a good idea to invite ambassadors of different countries to converge here and have a feel of the mango, which is certainly unique and different from the Maharastra's better known Alfonso mango, which has a huge export market," pointed out mango growers association president Insaram Ali.
"Among the countries whose ambassadors have already confirmed their visit were Fiji, Algeria, Sri Lanka [ Images ], Lebanon, Tajakistan, Iran, Bulgaria, Surinam, Guyana, Malaya, he added. So far, the market for the famous Malihabad 'Dussehri' was limited largely to countries such as Saudi Arbaia, United Arab Emirates [ Images ] and a few other middle-eastern countries.
Association spokesman Siraj Mehndi, ho was instrumental in establishing contact with each of the missions, was confident, "The efforts will bear fruit and we will be able to carve out a space for the Malihabad mango in each of these countries where the fruit is much in demand."
He said, "With a view to giving the visiting envoys a true feel of the rural mango pocket, we are making arrangement for their stay in Malihabad, where a private resort has offered its cottages."
Ali said, "We will take the foreign dignitaries on a bullock-cart ride through the mango orchards, while a special evening of Urdu poetry and ghazals was being organised at the resort to treat the guests to a traditional Awadhi culture."
Interestingly, the participating poets have offered to prepare special compositions on what is often referred to as the 'king of fruit'.