'France can be a good market for mango growers’

Pakistan can explore more markets for its mango and France can be a good market for the mango growers to earn fair return of the produce. But we have to develop our quality and standards of harvesting, packaging and preservation of the produce, said Muhammad Khan Saddozai President of Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) in his opening address at Seminar on “Export of Mango SPS in French Market jointly organised by TDAP and MCCI here on Tuesday.

He said that Mango is already being exported to United States and Europe from Multan and MCCI’s Sub-Committee headed by Shahid Naseem Khokhar is playing a key role in boosting up the mango export to Europe and Gulf States and educating the mango growers as well as exporters about the international standards.

He said that with the end of the mango season, owing to multifarious hindering factors, its export goal remained unfulfilled at 85,000 to 90,000 tonnes spelling financial losses to the exporters besides depriving the national exchequer from earning valuable foreign currency. Muhammad Khan Saddozai said that the fruit like mango is exported to countries including Denmark, UK, France and some parts of far-eastern countries, including Singapore and Malaysia, Gulf countries like Saudi Arabia, Oman, Kuwait and UAE besides European countries.

It may be recalled here that this year export target was set at an ambitious 150,000 tonnes but lack of attention by the government to resolve pending issues of exporters and multiple hindrances they had to face during export process in the current year led to stifling export of mango. Majority of mango exporters said that mango export crawled at a snail pace on account of multiple hindrances faced by the exporters and apathy of Ministry of Commerce to take cognisance of the prevailing situations.

Dr. Amin of Bahauddin Zakariya University gave a lecture on the preservation and expansion of shelf life of mango. Maj Muhammad Tariq Khan (Retd) said that the ministry officials in fact turned a blind eye towards burning issues of exporters giving them sleepless nights. Highlighting number of deterrent factors, Tariq attributed unnecessary bureaucratic hassles and delaying tactics used by the customs officials at Karachi port and Anti-Narcotic Force to prolong export process which caused rusting of the export consignments destined for different destinations.

Furthermore, a number of complaints were received by Pakistani exporters from importers across-the-globe relating to damage to shipments with short consignments indicating that reefer containers were tampered with and mango-laden cartons were stolen by customs officials creating poor image of the country. In many cases, importers were found making financial deduction for the missed cartons having an adverse impact on exporters’ revenue. He claimed that exporters are not demanding special favour from the government in view of their colossal financial losses but they expect subsidy or tax relief from the government to compensate their monetary losses.

“If the government fails to respond to the major problems of mango exporters, national exchequer is likely to be the ultimate loser in terms of huge foreign revenue during the next season as every year it earns massive foreign revenue through mango fruit export,” he added.

The seminar was also addressed by Dr.Muhammad Umar, Tariq Malik, Ms.Saima Azhar and Alamgir Khan: they said that TDAP is educating the exporters and growers about the demand and requirements of international buyers. They gave proposals by exporters including enforcement of quality and grading standards, pre-shipment inspection and some incentives like subsidies on airfreights for exporters, which are long pending issues yet to be implemented; otherwise these would have left salutary impact on the total export of the most desired fruit of the summer season.

They said that there are hundreds of mango cultivators distributed throughout the world of which Asia, India and Pakistan have over 500 classified varieties (some say 1,000) have evolved and have been described and 69 species mostly restricted to tropical regions. The speakers threw light on Labour Training and supervision of labour that are critical to a successful harvesting operation. Constant supervision is necessary to maintain quality and reduce subsequent spoilage of produce. Training is required in both general principles and crop specific techniques relating to maturity selection, detachment method, maintenance of equipment, field hygiene and division of labour.

Teams of workers must work systematically through a plot or field, experienced staff removing the crop and others carrying it to collection points. If crops are relatively inaccessible, as with older mango trees, pickers climbing in the trees if fruit is to be harvested must take great care free of damage. Whenever possible, planting densities and pruning techniques should be chosen, which can minimise tree’s size.

Source: www.brecorder.com

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