Practical steps to increase Pakistan's mango exports

Pakistan currently exports 5 percent of its total mango production. The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has urged the government to take pragmatic steps to increase this figure, as lucrative markets, like Japan, remain untapped.

“A major hurdle to the expansion of Pakistani mango market is the inability to supply high-quality mangoes in a consistent manner by meeting demands of supermarket chains,” said FPCCI Regional Standing Committee Chairman Ahmad Jawad.

“The country produced around 1.8 million tons of mangoes annually during the last five years but average exports were only 90,000 tons or 4-5% of the total production,” he said. “In the last two years, exports dropped to 60,000 tons.”

In order to enter high-value export markets like the European Union, Jawad suggested that Pakistan should fix loopholes including poor orchard management, post-harvest issues like inappropriate handling, immature fruit harvesting, inadequate transport system and improper grading and packaging. “These factors, among others, are responsible for the low export prices of mangoes.”

He said fruit flies, in particular, were the biggest impediment, currently, that made the fruit uneven, thus making the country unable to meet the export standards.

“In the absence of sustainable infrastructure, around 30-40% of the fruit is wasted in the harvest-to-market network. Saving these losses will help almost double the value of the mango industry in the country.”

He added that due to the absence of much-needed Vapour Heat Treatment plant, the Japanese market had remained untapped for the third consecutive year.

He said the delay was depriving the country of the high-value Japanese market where Pakistani mangoes could sell for $4-5 per kg.

Moreover, doors have also been opened for Pakistani mangoes in China and Australia but these markets are inaccessible until the fruit falls in line with hygiene and packaging standards.

Source: tribune.com.pk

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