Country losing $3.5m Japanese mango market

Published: May 20, 2014

KARACHI: The huge Japanese mango market, i.e. annual 500 tons worth $ 3.5 million is being lost every year due to the lax attitude of officials in providing mandatory quarantine facilities in the shape of Vapor Heat Treatment plant (VHT).

A VHT plant was imported several years ago to meet the sanitary and phyto-sanitary quarantine requirements of not only Japan but European Union as well but the same is lying idle at the port.

All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exports, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) which is always in the forefront to enhance country’s fruit and vegetable exports has now approached Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) urging them to make the plant functional. Its aggressive strategy to explore new international markets has always been acknowledged and appreciated by ministries and TDAP.

PFVA Secretary General, Mohammad Ilyas Khan, in a letter sent to Chief Executive Officer, TDAP on May 19 reminded him that in 2011, a pilot VHT plant which had remained idle for a very long time was successfully operated by PFVA and managed to export mangoes to Japan.

“To capture Japanese market, it is imperative to export mangoes on commercial scale and the VHT commercial plant lying at Karachi sea port for the last several months must be effectively utilized to meet specific quarantine requirement.

The PFVA by virtue of its knowledge and experience is confident to operate and manage this plant very well to process mangoes for export to the Japanese market; he said adding that the plant be installed without loss of time because the mango export season is just round the corner. We should not lose the Japanese mango market, he said. This plant could also be utilised to process mangoes for export to EU free from fruit flies which is their requirement.

Ilyas Khan has, therefore, requested TDAP, in the national interest to assign management and operation of this commercial VHT plant as a common facility to PFVA for the exporters so that all exporters could equally benefit and out country get much-needed foreign exchange. The plant shall not be operated by an individual but interest of all the exporters will be protected.

In the end, he sincerely urged the TDAP that arrangement is made on urgent basis to hand over the plant to PFVA for the common benefit of all. He assured that the Association would acquire land for the installation of the plant. “Each passing day is multiplying cost of this idle plant in the form of various custom duties and demurrage charges etc hence prompt decision is taken keeping vital national interest in view,” he said.