Export of mangos to Japan: Pakistani delegation visiting Thailand to inspect processing facilities
Published: December 05, 2012
Aiming to tap the very lucrative international market for fruits in Japan, a Pakistani delegation of horticulture sector is currently visiting Thailand to inspect mango processing facilities and Vapour Heat Treatment (VHT) plant there, which are approved for Japanese market.
The delegation, which also have officials of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), is currently visiting the mango farms, processing facilities and especially the VHT plant in Thailand to examine the quality and standard requirements of Japanese market which is still untapped despite a green signal from Tokyo, sources told Business Recorder.
The visit of the delegation has been organised by Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA). Whaeed Ahmed, Chairman Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importer and Merchant Association, is heading the group from horticultural side. They will also hold meetings with Thailand Food Association and others concerned organisations.
With the visit of the high powered delegation, the VHT plants to be installed in Karachi and Multan are expected to be imported from Japan by March 2013. With the investment of at least Rs 236 million, the concerned authorities here have already approved procurement of the plant, which is needed to process fruit especially mango for entering Japanese and other international markets.
According to sources, all parts and other allied machines for the establishment of VHT facility, which are expected to reach the country in first quarter of next year, will be installed at proposed Agri Processing Zone land, situated near Karachi city along Super Highway. The new plant will process at least 15,000 kilogram or 15 tones mango daily. Vapour Heat Treatment System uses hot saturated water vapour to heat the fruit slowly, treating possible fruit flies.
The plant, according to sources, is being procured through TDAP. The same VHT plant, with latest technology, is being used in other countries like Thailand, Philippine and others to process fresh fruits. "Though the plant can be used for multipurpose, but it is being imported for processing the highly valued mango. The plant, which will facilitate export of fruits and vegetables, especially Mangoes, to Japan and other foreign markets is intended to meet the phyto-sanitary requirements of the importing countries," they added.
According to TDAP's bid issued in February 2012, the successful bidder would be responsible for commissioning of complete plant; responsible for operation and maintenance for six months; training of local staff; supply of spare parts and ensure the warranty/guarantee for the plant.
The bidders have been asked to provide lowest quote for operation and maintenance using the period of 15 years, as the running cost for daily processing of 15 tones of mangoes for a period of four months season (120 days), having the net present value using discount rate of 12 percent. The total estimated cost of the plant is Rs 236,170,230.46. It is worth mentioning here that in the absence of required VHT plant, Pakistani mango is not being exported to Japan despite lifting a 16-year-old ban on the import of fruit from Pakistan.
Last year, the government had introduced Mango in Japanese market on experimental basis and limited quantity of mangoes had been sent to Japan for promotional purposes as test shipment soon after the foreign government allowed it after processing through a smaller VHT plant provided by Tokyo in 1999.
Japanese ministry of Food and Agriculture had given the permission of mango imports from Pakistan with an attached condition -Vapour Heat Treatment of mangoes. Islamabad had made the older plant operational last year in order to introduce the fruit in foreign markets. However, the bigger and latest one is needed to start the trade on commercial basis. Though the export of mango, which is called the king of fruit, is expected to be started this year but the delayed procurement process of the plant kept the foreign market away for another one year/season.