MULTAN : Agriculture experts have issued guidelines for mango growers and exporters with a view to increase its shelf life. In a press release issued by the media liaison unit of Punjab agriculture department here Monday, experts said that growers could decide when to harvest mango by assessing few things including its shoulders’ growth, sugar content and shape in accordance with the variety. Mango is ready for harvest when its shoulders are fully grown, get proper shape and has sugar content up to 10-12 degree for local marketing.

However, it should be harvested for export when sugar content is 8-10 degree for enhanced post-harvest life, they added.

Growers should have direct access to mango fruit through modern gadgets and cut it with stick attached while avoiding injury to it. Harvesting should be done in the morning and fruit be put in a soft basket at a shady place. Growers must empty the basket after harvesting around 15 kilogram so that mango at the lowest layer do not get pressed under the weight of other mangoes, they added.

The fruit then be washed by cold water to lower its temperature and all alien particles like soil, and fungi spores are removed. The mango be packed in 2 to 5 kg card boxes after washing with cold water, lowering its temperature and applying anti-fungus medicines, they added.