Pakistan mangoes, cultivated widely across Sindh and Punjab, are the second-most exported fruits of the country. However, like many sectors around the world, Pakistan’s traditional mango exports have also taken a sizeable hit from the economic crisis created by the global coronavirus pandemic.
In addition to that, despite the availability of excessive mangoes due to non-export, the virus scare has also created a dearth of customers in the local markets, leaving mango traders of Islamabad in a tight spot.
“The mango season usually coincides with the month of Ramadan, which is when we make most of our sales. But the season hit a little later this year, and now that we have an abundance of mangoes available in the markets, there aren’t enough customers to buy them,” shared Waheed, a mango trader from Sabzi Mandi, Islamabad.
According to Islamabad Fruit and Vegetable Association Chairperson Agha Sairaj, the fruit markets of the capital make business worth millions of rupees every day, but the district administration has paid little heed to them and has remained busy decorating the Blue Area.
“The fruit markets have only been disinfected once since the coronavirus outbreak, and that too was quite a while ago. Situations have gotten much worse since then and customers do not find it safe enough to come to the markets anymore. Due to this reason, we have not been making a lot of sales and the mangoes which have come from Sindh and Punjab are at the risk of being spoiled if they’re not sold in time,” Sairaj lamented.
While a majority of industries and businesses have gone online to adapt to the economy-wrecking pandemic, Junaid Sheikh, a fruit trader in Islamabad informed The Express Tribune that a most of the vendors in the city’s fruit markets have no experience doing business online.