islamabad -

US-Pakistan Business Council should play its role in convincing the US trade mission and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) to formulate a soft policy regarding import of Pakistani mangoes.

This was stated by Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Harvest Tradings Ahmad Jawad while talking to INP here on Saturday.

He said that a US mission would visit Pakistan to give impetus to trade and investment relations between the two countries and it was hoped that it would achieve the desired results.

Ahmed Jawad said that it is right time to start with mango diplomacy for the upcoming season, starting from next month which would surely help us to engage the private sector of both sides, as currently mango export to US is almost halted.

He urged APHIS, a subsidiary of USDA, to lay down at least same policy as they have done for Indian products. The Indian counterparts have the permission to irradiate mangoes in their homeland. I don’ t know why this discrimination, he questioned.

If we take a look for a while, from the date of approval, Pakistan failed to capture the US mango market in letter and spirit. Our mango exports to the US have been limited to one airport, Chicago only.

Till to date the shipping and handling costs around $22 for a two kg carton unless they are given more options for shipping and irradiation destinations to bring down this cost factor.

Similarly mango buyers in USA required more facilitation in terms of better options & cost for Pakistani mangoes. Currently there is only one irradiation unit at Iowa which is not cost effective.

The Harvest Tradings CEO further said we made it clear that we want level playing field in every market. In 2011, Pakistani growers exported only five tons of the country’s signature fruit to the United States and had hoped for a higher volume this year, as USA is one of the largest imports of mangoes and we must take benefit out from this opportunity.