Japan approves mango quality

This year almost 2000 kg mango would be exported to Japan; First consignment of mangoes of almost two tonnes sent to Tokyo on Friday

KARACHI - After much effort from Pakistan's side, the Japanese authorities have approved Pakistani mangoes for imports. Japan has recognised Pakistan's Vapour Heat Treatment (VHT)test after Japanese experts visited the VHT plant in Pakistan.

The country sent the first consignment of mangoes of almost two tonnes to Tokyo, on Friday. Talking to Pakistan Today, former Chairman All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) Waheed Ahmed said on Saturday that the foreign team has issued NOC approving the import of mango from Pakistan after inspecting the VHT plant in the country.

“Now the country's mango has gotten international reorganization in terms of standard and quality,” he said adding that this development would facilitate the country's fruit to enter other quality sensitive countries. He said, to start the commercial export to foreign country PFVA has sent a proposal to the Ministry of Commerce to establish a common facility center. In response the ministry has demanded a feasibility report from the association, which would be the prime organization to run the center.

The income generated by the center would be spent on improving the quality and standard of mango, introduction of new verities of mango and research. According to Waheed the current approval from Tokyo has come after the inspection of the limited capacity VHT plant, which was given to Pakistan in 1999. The plant was dysfunctional due to lack of maintenance, but in 2010, with the coordination of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, the PFVA had successfully made the plant functional within two years.

After inspecting hundreds of kilograms of mango through the plant in Karachi, a Japanese agriculturists' delegation belonging to one of its renowned agriculture cooperative organization cleared the country's mango for export to Tokyo. He said this year almost 2000 kilogram mango would be exported to Japan, out of which over 250 kilogram mango has already been sent to Japan through flight EK-603 on July 15. These mangoes would be presented to various departments of in JApan and officials as a gift. Furthermore, the import would be advertised in Japan by Pakistan's embassy.

“Pakistan will be able to create a market worth three to four million dollars in Japan within the next few years,” he said, adding that the country's fruit is expected to get a market price of over Rs350 per kilogram in Tokyo. Very few countries in the world have been able to meet the standard set by Japanese government and are exporting mango to Japan. These countries include Philippine, Thailand, Australia and South Africa.

To start the commercial trade of mango, a commercial VHT plant would be installed by next year for which the necessary steps have already been taken by the PFVA, Waheed said. It is worth mentioning here that the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries of Japan was to inspect the existing plant before allowing the import of mango. The officials inspected the plant facility and machine performance.

The issue of VHT plant was also raised during the previous visit of President Asif Ali Zardari to Japan but no development was made so far in this case.