Mangoes: Quality over quantity the aim

Published: May 27, 2014


Mango growers and exporters are gearing up fast to improve the quality of the fruit to counter daunting challenges of fruit diseases. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: The government will further improve its monitoring to ensure that the country only exports quality mangoes to the European Union (EU) even if it causes temporary plunge in exports, said Federal Minister for Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Bosan.

“We will meet all quarantine requirements of the EU so that Pakistan can continue to export its mangoes to this highly valued market,” said Bosan, while speaking to a large gathering organised by the Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA).

The seminar was held in collaboration with Trade Related Technical Assistance (TRTA) program – a United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) programme and Plant Protection Department.

The minister said that to control the threats of fruit flies, a countrywide drive has already been initiated to facilitate mango exports to the EU.

A National Seed Authority was also being formulated to ensure better crop in the country, besides encouraging  foreign investment in the seed sector. A resolution, ‘Seed Amendment Bill’ was also being moved in the National Assembly, he said.

The EU had recently banned the import of five different types of fruits and vegetables from India over the presence of pests and fruit flies in consignments.

Since Pakistan exports almost similar variety of fruits and vegetables to the EU, local growers and exporters have become cautious about product quality to stay in the highly valued markets.

He appreciated the role of the private sector in creating awareness among fruit growers and exporters about the importance of the quality requirements of different industrialised countries.

He expressed displeasure over the delay in installation of the VHT machine for fruit processing. “The government was thoroughly inspecting every consignment of mango being sent to the EU.” The drive against fruit fly initiated by the Punjab government was encouraging but the Sindh government was yet to reply to the ministry’s letter, he added.

On the occasion, PFVA Co-Chairman Waheed Ahmed said the exporters are ready to offer at least 20% more prices to the growers if they ensure better quality of mango supplies to the EU.

He said that the association was working closely with the country’s renowned agricultural universities for research and development of the horticultural sector. The organisation was the first to initiate the drive of creating awareness among growers regarding the fruit fly both in the province of Punjab and Sindh.

Mango growers and exporters are gearing up fast to improve the quality of the fruit to counter daunting challenges of fruit diseases especially fruit flies to the country’s fruit exports, said Ahmed.

He requested the government to continue working for the better and quality production of mangoes and Kinnows (mandarin) in the country. He also suggested the food ministry to take PFVA on board while formulating an agricultural policy.

PFVA Chairman Abdul Malik said that Pakistan should implement good agricultural practices as many agriculture-based countries were generating more revenue for less export of quality fruit.