KARACHI: Pakistani mango exporters are likely to face 30 percent reduction in export volumes during the current export season on account of impact of climatic change in the country.
The mango yield for the current year country is estimated to be around 1.2 million tonnes against 1.7 million tonnes of the previous season. The export season is likely to take off from May 25, 2012, last year around 0.134 million tonnes of mango were exported against the target of 0.170 million tonnees out of the total production of 1.7 million tonnes, generating revenue around $38 million.
Waheed Ahmed co-Chairman, All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) said this year the target was fixed at 0.15 million tonnes with the estimated revenue generation of $50 million to the country.
The reduction in production, he said, was mainly because of the climatic change which hit the mango trees in many parts of the country including, Hyderabad, Tando Allahyar, Mirpurkhas and Mityari of Sindh and Multan, Rahimyar Khan, Shuja Abad, Muzaffar Garh and Khanewal of Punjab province.
Waheed informed, despite successful initiatives taken by PFVA in collaboration with Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to introduce the country’s mangoes in the US and Japanese markets, the exports of the fruit to these countries was unlikely to be started this year because of the lack of VHT plant facility in the country.
Though Japan had last year approved the mango tested through the existing small VHT facility in the country but it was not viable to use for commercial level of trade because of its functionality and capacity.
“Besides, the test and quality approval of mango in USA, in the absence of the quarantine facility in the country, was also not favourable for exports as no exporter could risk sending entire consignment to the foreign country before quality approval while bearing huge freight cost”, he added. The country’s mangoes failed to make their debut in Japan, USA and Russia due to lack of funds for installing the VHT and radiation plant, needed to qualify the value added markets of the foreign countries.
He informed a delegation of quarantine department of Australia was also due to visit Pakistan this month to inspect the mango farms and processing units in the country.
The opening of Australian border for Pakistani mango, which was expected this year, would be an important development for the country’s fruits.
The proposal of Commercial Processing Plant and Common Facility Centre has already been sent to the Ministry of Commerce but the Ministry was yet to take any step for resolving the quality issue of the highly demanded fruit of the country.
The country was also losing the already established and tapped market in Iran because of the sanctions imposed by US and UNO as the commercial banks here were reluctant to get involve in the financial transactions. The lukewarm response by the Pakistani officials towards a genuine issue raised by the exporters regarding trade with Iran may also spell severe financial repercussion for the fruits’ export of the country.
In view of the emerging critical situation, exporters were apprehensive about the future of their exports as Iran is regarded as a valuable market in terms of prompt payment for the imported fruits. The existing exports or smuggling via land routes to Tehran would also not benefit the country in terms of revenue, Waheed added.