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Indian mango changes colour to go abroad

NEW DELHI, FEB 29. Indian mango is all set to camouflage its way into International markets with scientists at the Indian Agricultural Research Institute (IARI) using cross breeding techniques to give the Indian fruit a foreign look.

`Pusa Arunima', a hybrid variety, derived from the cross between Indian `Amrapali' and `Sensation', the famous cultivar of Florida, is ready to be exported to European countries and the United States, after getting export clearance from the Central government, an expert has said.

``The red peel colour of the mango, which primarily is the characteristic of Sensation, could help it capture the international market, which, the other Indian varieties because of their dull look fail to do,'' Head of the Department of Horticulture at IARI, Dr Room Singh told PTI.

Almost all mango varieties cultivated in the country have green peel colour, which does not attract foreign buyers. Cross breeding might do the trick and Pusa Arunima could attract foreign buyers, he said.

``Acidity level in the fruit has gone up which in combination with sugar releases a very sweet smell,'' he said.

Because of its attractive peel colour, fibreless pulp, mild flavour and excellent sugar the fruit stand a fair chance to capture foreign market, Dr Singh, who developed the variety with Dr R R Sharma and Dr S K Bhagat, said.

Red peel colour and good shelf life makes it a suitable fruit to be exported in international markets, he said.

``Having a shelf life of about 12 days at the room temperature as compared to other Indian varieties, which have a shelf life of about four days, make Pusa Arunima a preferred choice over other fruits to be exported to far-off countries,'' Singh said.

Bigger fruit-size, less pulp and its moderate susceptibility to get diseases might make it the most sought after fruit in international market, he said.

The variety is much superior to other varieties on almost all fronts, Singh said, adding ``its productivity per unit area would be more than four times as compared to Dashehari for two reasons. Firstly, because of its regularity in bearing and secondly, more number of plants per unit area.''

PTI

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