Govt facilitating farmers to produce quality mango

Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan has said that federal government was taking various steps for the promotion of mango industry in Pakistan. He said govt is also facilitating exporters and mango growers to produce export quality mango to meet the standards of its export. Addressing the inaugural ceremony of Automated Mango Graders on Friday here at Mustafa Agricultural Farm Tando Hafiz Shah in Thatta, he said that Pakistan is a producer of one of the finest qualities of mango in the world.

The Minister said that Pakistan exports mango to about 57 countries of the world, including high-end markets of USA, European Union, Japan, Australia and South Korea. However, the export volume to all the developed countries, other than the European Union, is within 200 tons in each of the country. Inadequate check and control of exports to the EU and Gulf market has often lead to limited-return due to quality and SPS issues, and irregular exports leading to dumping, he added.

Bosan said that at this time, the entire mango industry is in a transitional phase of development, and several steps have already been taken by the Government of Pakistan to improve this sector. These include circumvention of the EU ban, increase in hot water treatment plants from 1-29, improvement in pack house operations, development of 50+ethylene chambers, introduction of ethylene sachets, ban on the usage of calcium carbide, registration of mango orchards for GAP certification, and many more. But to truly capture the international market, and build an organized export line, certain other requirements also need to be fulfilled. These essentially include grading and sorting of the fruit to international standards, improvements in packaging, cosmetic improvement of mangoes, and devising mechanisms for constant supplies. A more targeted and comprehensive marketing approach will also help our exporters and producers to get a better price for their product, he added.

Minister appreciated the USAID support to Pakistan in developing the mango sector. He said that in the past, USAID has helped farmers and exporters to meet export quarantine requirements by providing hot water dips for the fruit, developing cooling facilities, providing mango drying units, and arranging international visits for farmers and exporters to allow them to first-hand witness the latest procedures and practices of the industry. He said as a result of these developments and insights, USAID and AusAID have assisted exporters with shipping a number of mango consignments to Europe via sea freight to reduce costs.

He said the Agricultural Market Development (AMD) project of USAID has been striving hard to boost the value chain and marketing of fruit & vegetables and the meat sector, and have accomplished some impressive landmarks. He said at the beginning of the mango season, AMD provided support to organize a Mango Awareness Seminar in Karachi that I have personally attended. He said that AMD is currently in the process of providing 13 state-of-the-art automated graders to the mango growers and exporters. He said that the use of these graders is not restricted to mangoes, several other fruits can benefit from them as well. He appreciated the efforts of Peter Dickrell (AMD) and his team in supporting this sector. He said this project will open up new doors for several other growers, exporters, processors and all the other stakeholders of the industry. The event was organized under Agricultural Market Development (AMD) Project supported by U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) with the collaboration of Pakistani Partners.

Source: Pakistan Observer

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