MULTAN  - Despite mango orchards cutting for residential purpose in suburban areas of various cities of South Punjab, the cultivation area of mangoes is on the rise continuously.

This was said by Mango Research Station (MRS) In-charge Abdul Ghaffar Grewal. "In past, mango growers were not taking too much interest in improving mango cultivation area because these were not highly paid. Now they are ambitious to enhance cultivation area as they are earning handsome amount by exporting this fruit", he informed.

According to crop reporting sources, mangoes orchards were located at an area of 117,000 hectares in the province during year 2011-12 while the cultivation area increased to 180,000 hectares in 2015-16. The mango crop is turning into industry and offering handsome returns to growers, he added. To a query about enhanced area of mango, the MRS in-charge informed that different programmes including Australia Pakistan Agriculture Sector Linkages Program (ASLP), USAID, and Punjab Agriculture department provided much needed facilitation for quality fruit, imparted training to growers how to manage orchards and follow export standards. The income of growers has increased manifolds and this is basic reason behind increase in cultivation area, he added.

The expert further said that millions of mango plants are being planted annually in South Punjab. He said that there are over 35 mango nurseries in the city, adding that almost every nursery sells more than 50,000 plants during season.

 Besides this, Mango Research Institute (MRI) and Mango Research Stations are also providing nursery to growers.

He further added that he himself knows over 100 progressive growers who have enhanced mango cultivation remarkably. The future of mango crop is much bright, he stated adding that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will enhance export of the delicious fruit. He claimed Pakistani growers will find large space in international markets.