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North Bengal Agro Farm Ltd., a Bangladeshi company, shipped the mango consignment to the Amsterdam Airport from Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in the last week of May, this year.

The next shipment will board the plane on 8 July for the Netherlands.

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This farm has exported the country’s mangoes to three European nations--the Netherlands, Germany and Sweden--this year for the first time since its began last year sending mangoes to the Switzerland.

M. Riaz Hamidullah, ambassador of Bangladesh to the Netherlands, told Prothom Alo that mango has been exported commercially to the Netherlands this year for the first time. Before that, the country used to get Bangladeshi mangoes via some European nations including Germany and the United Kingdom.

Other than this, the Netherlands were unfamiliar about the qualities of different types of Bangladeshi mangoes including the ‘Himsagar’, the ambassador said.

The Bangladesh embassy in Netherlands has gifted the mangoes to the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, cabinet members, lawmakers and the eminent citizens of the country.

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The Dutch have expressed their delight on email, Twitter, LinkedIn, letters and SMS after receiving the mangoes.

Ambassador Hamidullah said the Dutch are usually reticent in expressing their reactions. So their positive response to Bangladeshi mangoes hint at a potential mango market in the Netherlands in the coming days.

As per directives of the European Union (EU), all countries will have to pack their respective fruits and vegetables at packing houses before exporting to the member states.

When asked whether the condition--regarding sending mangoes to the Netherlands commercially--was fulfilled, Shahriar Lin, director of business and market development of North Bengal Agro Farm Ltd. told Prothom Alo on Sunday that Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) under contract farming has to be maintained for export of fruits and vegetables to the EU countries.

Firstly, the orchard--from which fruits or vegetables will be exported--will be overseen by the agriculture officer, he added.

During cultivation, the officer will ensure that the mangoes of this orchard are safe by issuing a certificate. After that, the mangoes are taken to the Central Packing House from the orchard and the deputy director of the quarantine wing of department of agricultural extension issues a phyto-sanitary certificate.

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But the certificate could be canceled anytime later if the deputy director finds the mangoes not up to standard during inspection. Later, the sealed consignment has to be sent to the airport from the packing house following the quality test.

Finally, the quarantine officers of the airport break the sealed and load the mangoes in the aircraft.

Shahriar Lin said Himsagar, Amrapali, Khirsapat and Langra are among the mango types exported to the Netherlands. Banana mangoes, as a sample, are being sent on 8 July. This mango is being experimentally cultivated in Bangladesh.

“In three shipments, more than three metric tons of mangoes will be exported to the Netherlands. Bangladesh is prepared to send the mangoes up to the end of September,” he added.

According to Shahriar Lin, mangoes--directly from Bangladesh to the Netherlands--will be cheaper than the Bangladeshi mangoes imported from the third destinations, such as Germany and UK.

“Based on the people's reactions, it seems that the mango market will flourish in the future,” he hoped.

This report appeared in the print and online edition of Prothom Alo and has been rewritten for the English edition by NH Sajjad

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