ISLAMABAD - The Chairman of Regional Standing Committee of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) Ahmad Jawad has said that average export of Pakistani mango during last five years was around 90,000 tons despite the fact country produced around 1.8 million tones mango annually but export volume has been very low (4-5% only) of the total production.

Talking to media persons here on Monday, Ahmed Jawad said that major restriction to expansion of Pakistani mango market is the inability to supply competitively high quality mango in consistent manner in keeping with the demands of supermarket chain. To enter into the high value export markets like EU, we need to fix the poor orchard management, post harvest issues including inappropriate handling, immature fruit harvesting, inadequate transport and improper grading, packaging were also the key factors for the low export prices of mango.

He said that that to enhance export, quality standards should be maintained for fresh mango, proper grading and packaging infrastructure & facilitation should be established. Fruit Fly was one the biggest impediment to the mango export quality, making fruit appearance uneven, thus making it unable to meet export standards. According to an estimate, 30 to 40% of fruit is wasted from the harvest to market system; hence saving of these losses would help almost double value of mango industry of Pakistan; he added.

However in the absence of the much-needed Vapor Heat Treatment (VHT) plant, Japanese market will remain untapped for third consecutive years. VHT plant, which has already been imported with millions of rupees investment, is still idle for three years as the concerned institutions are yet to install it. “The dysfunctional VHT plant is depriving the country of highly valuable Japanese market where Pakistani mango could be sold at $4 to 5 per kg”

Treating mango at the VHT plant, Pakistan can initially export more than 400 tones to Japan, increasing the volume to thousands in future, Jawad said and added that apart from Japan, doors have also been opened for Pakistani mango in China and Australia but these markets are inaccessible until our fruit becomes compatible with the same of other countries. “We need to focus on research and development improving quality of fruit and established ripening centers as per the demand for the international markets.

The FPCCI Standing Committee, Chairman further said our mango exporters by and large also needs training on quality management and creating awareness of packing, packaging and labeling requirements of high end markets, adaption of modern refrigeration methodologies and development of proper infrastructure and that can be only done through co-ordinate efforts of all the stakeholders in public and private sectors.

It may also pertain to maintain here that main mango growing districts in the Punjab province are Multan, Bahawalpur, Muzzaffargarh and Rahim Yar Khan. In the province of Sindh, it is mainly grown in Mirpur Khas, Hyderabad, Thatta and Tando Allah Yar, whereas in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) it is grown in D.I Khan and Mardan.

Punjab and Sindh provinces account for 67% and 30% of the country’s production, respectively, while Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) contributes the rest.