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Pakistan: better mango crop expected this season

The country is likely to have far better mango crop this season as compared to previous year when its production plunged to 1.3 million tons. The mango yield is expected to improve to 1.7 million tons, an increase of 0.4 million tons to cater to the growing export demand of the commodity. Talking to Daily Times, Mateen Siddiqui, former chairman of the Fruit Vegetable Processors and Exporters Association, attributed the increase in mango production to better climate conditions.

He admitted that there remained a yawning gap between local demand and supply last year due to less mango production, which resulted in high price of the commodity in the country throughout the season. Replying to a question about causes of poor mango production previous year, he said prolonged winter and more than expected rains had devastated mango crop to substantial level.

Mr Siddiqui said improved production of mango during the current year would also help push export of the commodity. China and US had expressed willingness to import the commodity, he added. China and US had already assured to start import of Pakistani mangoes from May end, which would boost country’s fruit exports to substantial level, he hoped. When asked about level of previous year’s mango export, he said one lac tons of the commodity was exported, out of which 12-1/2 tons through air freight.

He feared that U.K. might place ban on import of mangoes from Pakistan if the quality was not maintained by the exporters as U.K. had already warned many times to improve the situation. “The repercussions of such a decision would be disastrous for Pakistan as other European countries would also follow similar line of action,” he added.

In response to another question, he said Federal Ministry of Commerce, had not taken seriously the issue as they were not forcing exporters to observe standard procedure and maintain quality. Due to which quality of exported commodity varies creating poor impression and leaving bad taste in the mouth of importers, he added.

Citing instances of poor quality of mango exported to U.K., Mr Siddiqui said standard wise specially designed 2 kg capacity of a box could accommodate 5 pieces of mango each weighing upto 400 gm. Any mango less than this weight is not well nourished and sweet in taste and leaves a bad taste in the mouth, he pointed out.

Ironically majority of mango exporters places orders for small boxes with less capacity compared to standard 2 kg weight as a result small mangoes with 200 to 250 mg weight are packed in these boxes. Many of consignments with smaller boxes were forfeited by custom officials in U.K with a warning, he said adding that but so far no concrete measures were adopted by Federal Commerce Ministry to rectify the situation which might spell disaster for Pakistani mangoes as far as export to U.K is concerned.

Source: dailytimes.com.pk

Publication date: 5/22/2007


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