Time not ripe yet for Indian mangoes to hit US

WASHINGTON, June 8, 2006 (AFP) – Americans have to wait probably another year before they can relish succulent Indian mangoes.

More than three months after President George W. Bush told Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that “the United States is looking forward to eating Indian mangoes,” Washington has still not decided to open the doors to the fruit, of which the Asian giant is the world’s bigger producer.

India’s Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar raised the mango issue with his US counterpart Mike Johanns Wednesday during a visit to Washington.

“I found that the US side is quite serious about that and they want to resolve the issue as early as possible,” he told reporters at the end of a five-day visit to the United States.

“We are expecting that next mango season probably, we will be able to export our mangos to American market,” Pawar said.

Mangoes ripen across India in May as sharp sirocco winds descend into South Asia before the annual June to September monsoon.

The Indian mango, especially the King Alphonso variety, is widely regarded as the most luscious of the species.

The mai