Domestic exporters may soon start shipments of mangoes, such as 'Dasheri' and 'Langda', to the US as America will start accepting testing certificates of specified agencies of India, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
India has not exported mangoes to the US for the last two years.
The set protocol involves the arrival of the US phytosanitary inspector, who monitors the process, which is called pre-clearance operations before exports.
They have not visited India during the summer of 2020 and 2021.
During the Trade Policy Forum meeting on Tuesday, Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal and USTR Katherine Tai welcomed the agreement to finalise work on market access facilitation for mangoes and pomegranates, pomegranate arils from India, and cherries and alfalfa hay for animal feed from the US.
The US intends to finalise the transfer of the preclearance programme/regulatory oversight of irradiation for mangoes and pomegranate to Indian authorities, according to a joint statement.
Explaining it further, the official said that Indian mangoes are currently not exportable to the US, but now the gate has opened to do export as both sides have resolved the issue on how to do the shipments.
"Now, our inspectors will be inspecting our mangoes.
"Our oversight will be accepted by them.
"So, instead of our mangoes passing their lab test, now our lab certificates will be accepted by them.
"That is the procedure which has been accepted," the official said, adding "we will be accepting their certificate and they will not have to come to India for certification".
"We have got mangoes. So, you can say that 'Dasheri' and 'Langda' will be available in New York shelves and California cherries will be in Delhi's super market," the official added.
Commenting on this, Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) Director General Ajay Sahai said the US is a "very promising" market for India and access to it will not only push exports but also will help mango growers get good prices for their produce.
Further, the official said the US has flagged 18 issues and India has raised 22 matters that need resolution to promote trade and investments.
"Four issues have been resolved and for the remaining, we will be drawing up timelines.
"Some will be resolved in three months, some in six months, some in nine months and some in one year.
"Sticking to timelines helps as it builds momentum.
"We want to go into a step approach but we also do not want to be transactional.
"The whole idea is that both sides will do whatever is doable as we go along over a period of time," the official added.
The US has also agreed to look at India's request on products like bovine meat and buffalo meat, and wild-caught shrimp.
The US does not allow import of this shrimp from India.
Photograph: Amit Dave/Reuters