KARACHI: Mango export has started in the country on Saturday with an ambitious target of 175,000 tonnes, which is 52 percent higher than the previous season’s target of 115,000 million tonnes.
Export of mango this season is expected to fetch $60 million.
The Ministry of Commerce granted permission to exporters to start export across the country. The objective of the decision was described by exporters on account of avoiding losses through unplanned and premature export of the fruit as witnessed during previous years.
Some 400 metric tonnes of the most favourite fruit of the summer season was airlifted to a number of European and Gulf countries UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrian, UK and Germany where demand of Pakistani mango is growing with the period of time.
According to All-Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Importers-Exporters and Merchants Association (PFVA) Chairman Waheed Ahmed, the production of mango is being expected at 1.55 million tonnes, while export target of 175,000 metric million tones mango has been set for this year.
Sindh was the most affected province of the climatic hazards facing 150,000 tonnes drop in production with an estimated decline of 25 percent in 2013. The production of mango in Hyderabad, Tando Allayar, Mityari, Mirpurkhas and others parts of the province was badly affected which has also delayed the season by two weeks.
Citing hindrances, which hampered mango exports, he said they include international barriers on trade with Iran, which also declined Pakistan’s exports to that country, as Pakistani banks had stopped trade services with Iran, which previously was importing 30,000 tonnes of mangoes from Pakistan. The country suffered a loss of $10 million for not exporting mangoes to Iran, he said adding that the illegal trade or smuggling via land routes was not benefiting the country in terms of revenue.
Besides, despite of being approved for US market mango exports to the foreign country on commercial basis could not take place due to the condition of treating the mangoes at a radiation plant near Chicago and unavailability of direct air service. Treating and processing the fruit in US, according to him is not only a costlier business but also highly risky for the exporters. Besides, the export of the perishable items via sea routes was also not feasible to the businessmen in horticulture sector due to long transit. The only way out to tap the US market is to provide the radiation facility in Pakistan preferably in Karachi and Multan.
Exports to Australia also could not begin because of quarantine issue. Though Australian quarantine team had visited facilities and orchards in the country to check the quality of the fruit for their market, however no development was made in this regard. The Ministry of Commerce and other concerned authorities should move to approach the authorities in the foreign country to have another highly valued market tapped.
Ahmed said during the current year exporters would focus on exports to Japan, Australia, South Korea, US, Mauritius and Lebanon markets and initiatives would be taken to uplift the quality of Pakistani mangoes to increase exports. Pakistan was presently exporting mango to at least 40 countries of the world including Canada, Germany, UK, France, Italy, Island, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland, Belgium, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain Kuwait, Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea, Lebanon and others. The varieties those commercially exported from Pakistan are Sindhri, Sunhaira, Fajri, Began Phali, Summar Chaunsa, Black Chaunsa and White Chaunsa.
Owing to the holy month of Ramazan falling in the second week of July, the local and international demand of mango is likely to go up as Muslims across the world are sure to enhance their daily consumption of the most demanding fruit of the summer season.
Responding to a query, he said as pledged by the officials of national flag carrier Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) during a meeting with office bearers of the fruit exporters some one month ago, a pro-active role on its part would be highly beneficial for the export of mango during the current season which may ultimately help realisation of ambitious target of 1.75 million tonnes.
Previous year, PIA had been under criticism for not providing enough space and facilities to mango exporters, but this year it has finally formed a new ‘business strategy’ to lift the fruit with maximum quantity. Providing new equipments and space to its cargo facility, the national flag carrier will be grabbing 25 percent share in the country’s cargo revenue this year. By airlifting maximum cargo for European destinations, the airline would easily be getting substantial revenue from mango exports in 2013, which would enable it to reduce its mounting financial losses.