ISLAMABAD - Stakeholders on Thursday asked the authorities to introduce more lenient Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) so as to achieve mango exports targets.

In addition to pre-shipment inspection by an approved third party, the exporters are now required to use hot water treatment on their mangoes to limit any instances of fruit flies being detected, Director, Harvest Tradings, Ahmad Jawad said in a statement issued here.

He said in Sindh, there is one approved common facility which was established through joint venture of Pakistan Horticulture Development & Export Company (PHDEC) under grant of Export Development Fund (EDF) reportedly charge Rs. 20 per kg for treatment which is expensive plus a long queue awaited if someone brings mangoes for treatment.Jawad said, however, from Department of Plant Protection (DPP) certified mango orchards, the exporters already procured 40 kg mango of Rs. 2400 instead of normal rate Rs. 1200 and packed the product in certified pack houses on services charges of around Rs. 30,000 per consignment for supervision.

Jawad said he believed these new requirements could lead to various mango growers stopping their exports all together, and asked the authorities to establish more lenient standard operating procedures.

He said although Pakistan produces around 1.7 million Metric Ton (MT) annually of mangoes, trade has been relatively low at around 4 to 5 per cent, averaging 80,370 ton per year over the last five years.

He said the total global trade of the fruit stands at around 1.5 million MT with a value of US $ 1.9 billion, adding that he is eager to see Pakistan increases its share in lucrative international market.