The Mango Research Institute (MRI) Multan has started commercial distribution of a newly developed variety 'Chenab Gold' to fill the gap between productions of Sindhri and Samar Bahisht (SB) Chaunsa, which will ensure continuous supply of mangoes for local consumption as well as exports. Earlier, the MRI multiplied this variety and distributed its plants amongst growers on experimental basis to ascertain its potential on different field sites; now after the success of this pilot project, these plants are being sold to growers on subsidized rates.
While talking to Business Recorder here on Tuesday, MRI Multan Director Dr Hameed Ullah claimed that Chenab Gold would create a significant impact on Pakistan's total production, especially in Punjab. Even some progressive growers were replacing local unprofitable varieties with that new potential variety, he proudly claimed. It is worth mentioning that the Punjab province has world's largest mango producing cluster spreading over 377 kilometres from Rahim Yar Khan to beyond Khanewal.
Talking about the quality of 'Chenab Gold', the Director said it had proved significant resistance against salinity problems; due to changes in local environment soils had become saline that results in negative impact on plants health as well as on fruit production. "Due to its characteristics, this variety has a great potential to meet the demand of Pakistani mangoes from various parts of the world and hence it will accelerate Pakistan's export." He said another attractive feature of that variety was that its fruit weighs around 700 grams with stone (seed) weighing 30 grams only.
When asked about the sale target of these plants, he said MRI was producing and selling those plants according to demand of mango growers. The MRI has sought no assistance from any other institutes and no foreign funding is involved in the development of this variety. "It is an indigenous effort and its credit totally goes to the Institute," he added.
Pakistan is the sixth largest mango producer among the 70 mango producing countries, but its market share in the international mango market is only 3.2 percent. This is owing to several issues, including poor shelf-life, inadequate infrastructure (processing facilities) and quarantine issues, which are different for different importing countries.
Interestingly, Pakistan is at 9th place in top 10 mango exporting countries while the Netherlands, which does not produce a single mango, is in the second position. They import mangoes from different countries and then export it. The Institute is also working to increase the cultivation area of SB Chaunsa besides ensuring improving its quality by inducting new innovations in mango production technology. In addition, two new varieties are also being introduced, which will enhance the period of mango export from Pakistan, thus pushing the exports up.
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Source: Business Recorder