Published: July 26, 2015

KARACHI: Pakistan resumed mango exports to the European Union one-week after it suspended the operations for taking measures to avert the looming chances of ban from the 29-nation-bloc, sources said on Saturday.

"The EU has found three consignments infected with fruit flies in the current export seasonÖthe country would face ban {on mango export for the current season only} in case the number of the infected consignments total at five in the season," Waheed Ahmed, an exporter, said.

He said the finding of the three infected consignments has convinced exporters to halt exports to the EU and take measures to stop sending disease carrying consignments.

"The plant protection department at the Ministry of National Food Security and Research has tightened monitoring and scrutiny of export consignments," he said, adding that the government has made mandatory the hot water treatment of mango to be exported to the EU. The treatment kills some 9-10 diseases in mangoes, including flies, he said.

He said, "The country is not likely to face the ban, as there are hardly 10-15 days left in ending the current export season."

†The resumption of exports to EU was marked with the dispatch of 10 tonnes consignment to the UK on Thursday.†

The country has exported a total of 3,835.58 tonnes to-date to the EU in the current season. It has been exporting the fruit at a price (C&F) at £2.6-3/kg on an average.†

"We hoped to match or surpass the last year's export figures of 4,400 tonnes to the EU," Ahmed said.†

"Around 90 percent of the total exports to the EU go to the UK," he said.†

The significant increase in exports to the EU could not be seen, as exporters are more focused on selling quality fruit than the quantity of the fruit in the world markets.†

Dr Mubarik Ahmed, director general at the Plant Protection Department, said in a statement that Pakistan has three interceptions due to the presence of fruit flies in mango consignments against five by India in the current season.†

"Other mango exporting countries viz Burkino Faso, Cameroon, Cote D Iívoire and Mali had 15, 10, 10 and nine, respectively," he said.†

In total, the country has so far exported some 65,000 tonnes of mango in the current season at an average price of $550 per tonne across the world.†

"We might not achieve our set target of 100,000 tonnes this year due to damage of significant part of the current crop in the country," he added.