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Pakistan has attained the mango export target after five years and achieved a record export volume of 115,000 metric tonnes during this season supported by high standard and aggressive marketing. Exporters said that Pakistani mango managed to get better price in the international market and earned some $80 million for the national exchequer during this season due to its high standard coupled with an aggressive marketing campaign by the Pakistani companies.

Waheed Ahmed, leading exporter and former chairman All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers & Merchants Association (PFVA) has informed that some 115,000 tonnes mangos have been exported by mid of September as against export target of 100,000 tonnes for the current year.

Compared to the last year, this year there has been substantial increase both in volume and revenue. This year so far valuable foreign exchange worth of US$80 million has been generated by export of 115,000 tonnes of mangos. Export of mango would continue till mid of October and it's expected to exceed volume target of 130,000 tonnes by conclusion of the current mango season, he added.

Last year the production of mango was 1.3 million tonnes and export volume stood at 85,000 tonnes, while this year mango production was 1.5 million tonnes, he informed.

Waheed attributes the substantial enhancement in export volume of mango to an aggressive and ambitious marketing which included mango promotions in 25 different countries under the joint sponsorship of Pakistani foreign missions and PFVA.

During the promotions, Pakistani mango was launched in a unique way and the participants in these events praised delicious taste and specific aroma of the fruit.

Another favourable factor was good production of late variety of mango as well and despite climatic challenges, the price of mango remained stable at Rs75-85 per Kg on the level of farms while the exporters and management of PFVA kept their attention well focused on quality of mango and packaging standards which assisted Pakistan to maintain prominent position in the international markets, Waheed mentioned.

The export of mango has also enhanced due to an extra attention paid to the conventional Asian markets of UAE, Iran, Afghanistan, Europe and UK.

Talking about the production, he informed that mango production is being multiplied because farmers are developing mango orchards as per international standards and adopting modern techniques leading to production of high quality mango while chance of production of mango in KP has also been enhanced and in a period of 5 years.

It is expected to get huge production from the KP, which clearly reflects a bright future of Pakistan in terms of high Production of mangos. "To take advantage of these opportunities it is imperative to continue conducting effective mango promotion events and to enhance export of mango, logistic and warehouse facilities is a must," he suggested.

There is also a need to pay more attention to high value and huge potential promising markets of Japan, USA, South Korea and China to exploit potential of these markets a definite improvement in "appearance" of mango would be a key factor thus research would be essentially required in that context.

Export of mango is around 10-11 percent of the total export of the horticulture sector which can be further enhanced to 25 percent in next five years and thus export of mango can generate revenue up to $200 million, former chairman PFVA mentioned.

Pakistan exports 60 percent of mango through sea and 25 percent is being sent via land routes and 15 percent by Air. However, he said that, there are inadequate facilities to ensure smooth export via land & sea routes.

Fruits and vegetables are perishable commodities, highly sensitive to temperature and thus specific temperature is required to maintain its quality otherwise its quality quickly deteriorates rapidly posing a danger of rejection of an entire export shipment, he informed.

Scarcity of handling facilities at the airports for export of fruits & vegetables is highly concerning since the export consignments are kept in an open area, Waheed said and added that the exporters have sustained huge financial losses during the current rainy season in Karachi due to inadequate cargo storage facilities.

Similarly by establishing modern warehousing facilities in close proximity to the border areas of Afghanistan and Iran, problems encountered in export of fruits & vegetables can be reduced significantly providing an ease for generation of foreign exchange badly needed by the country, he suggested.

To enhance export by air, the national carrier (PIA) is required to enhance its cargo space capacity and upgrade its handling facilities particular related to this specific sector ie fruits and vegetables as due to limitation on availability of cargo space and number of flights the exporters have to rely heavily on foreign carriers and hence these airlines taking advantage of limitations of the national carrier enhance their freight charges according to their sweet wish, he mentioned.

Waheed has also attributed achievement of mango export target to the concerted efforts, national spirit and cooperation of the concerned govt organisations namely Ministry of National Food Security & Research, Ministry of Commerce, Department of Plant Protection, Customs, ANF, and private sectors. He stressed that the provincial governments and concerned departments to play an active role to contribute in export enhancement of this specific promising sector.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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