ISLAMABAD: National Food Security and Research Minister Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan claimed that Pakistan was producing one of the finest qualities of mango in the world.
While inaugurating the Automated Mango Graders on Friday at Mustafa Agricultural Farm, Tando Hafiz Shah, Thatta, the minister assured that the federal government was taking various steps for the promotion of mango industry in Pakistan.
He said that the government was also facilitating exporters and mango growers to produce export quality fruit in order to meet the standards of its export. The NFS&R minister informed that Pakistan exports mango to about 57 countries of the world, including high-end markets of US, European Union, Japan, Australia and South Korea. However, the export volume to all the developed countries, other than the European Union, was within 200 tonnes in each of the country.
“Inadequate check and control of exports to the EU and Gulf market has often led to limited-return due to quality and SPS issues, besides irregular exports, leading to dumping,” he lamented.
Bosan said currently, the entire mango industry was in a transitional phase of development, whereas several steps have already been taken by the government to improve the sector. “These include circumvention of the EU ban, increase in hot water treatment plants from one to 29, improvement in pack house operations, development of 50+ ethylene chambers, introduction of ethylene sachets, ban on the usge of calcium carbide and registration of mango orchards for GAP certification,” he added.
In order to capture the international market and build an organised export line, certain other requirements also need to be fulfilled. These essentially include grading and sorting of the fruit to international standards, improvements in packaging, cosmetic improvement of mangoes, and devising mechanisms for constant supplies, the minister stressed. A more targeted and comprehensive marketing approach would also help exporters and producers get a better price for their product, he added.
The minister appreciated the United States Agency for International Development’s (USID) support to Pakistan in developing the mango sector. He said that in the past, USID has helped farmers and exporters meet export quarantine requirements by providing hot water dips for the fruit, developing cooling facilities, providing mango drying units, and arranging international visits for farmers and exporters, allowing them to witness latest procedures and practices of the industry.
As a result of these developments and insights, he said, USID and AUSID have assisted exporters with shipping a number of mango consignments to Europe via sea freight to reduce costs, adding that the Agricultural Market Development (AMD) project of USID has been striving hard to boost the value chain and marketing of fruit and vegetables and the meat sector, and have accomplished some impressive landmarks.
At the beginning of the mango season, he said, AMD provided support to organise a Mango Awareness Seminar in Karachi, which was personally attended by him. Bosan said that AMD was currently in the process of providing 13 state-of-the-art automated graders to the mango growers and exporters, adding that the use of these graders was not restricted to mangoes only, as several other fruits could also benefit from them.
He appreciated the efforts of AMD project head Peter Dickrell and his team in supporting the mango sector. He said this project would open up new doors for several other growers, exporters, processors and all other stakeholders of the industry.