Commerce ministry okays mango exports starting May 25
KARACHI: The Ministry of Commerce has allowed the export of mango for the coming season starting from May 25, 2013. The date has been fixed this year to avoid losses that resulted owing to the unplanned and premature export of the fruit earlier.
Exporters expect the total production of mango to touch 1.55 million tons this year, up from one million tons compared to the previous year. The export target of 0.175 million tons has been set for this year, the country may fetch $60 million if it succeeds in meeting the export target.
Sindh remained most affected province due to climatic hazards this year facing a decline in mango production of 0.15 million tons – about 25% of the total production in 2013, said chairman of the All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Association (PFVA) Waheed Ahmed.
Mango yield in mango-rich regions of Sindh like Hyderabad, Tando Allahyar, Mityari, Mirpurkhas and other parts of the province was affected considerably this season causing a delay of two weeks in harvesting season, say mango exporters.
After the inclusion of Japan in Pakistan’s mango
export market, this season a limited quantity of mango will also be exported to Japan after being processed by a Vapour Heat Treatment (VHT) plant – a pilot plant donated by the Japanese government to preserve the quality of the fruit.
International trade restrictions on Iran has also adversely affected Pakistan’s mango exports to that country, as many Pakistani banks have stopped offering their services for Iran. Iran was previously importing 30,000 tons of mangoes from Pakistan – a significant market loss of $10 million to local exporters.
The decline in legal trade has provided a big market to illegal traders who are smuggling mango to Iran through land routes but it is not benefiting the country in terms of revenue, Ahmed said.
Despite being approved for the US market, mango exports to the country on commercial basis could not start due to the unavailability of direct air services and other restrictions at sea ports. Processing mango in US is not only costlier but also highly risky for the exporters.
The export of perishable items to US via sea route was also not feasible due to the longer transportation period. The only way out to tap the US market is to provide the radiation facility in Pakistan preferably in Karachi and Multan, exporters say.
Exports to Australia also could not begin because of quarantine issues. Though Australian quarantine team had visited facilities and orchards in the country to check the quality of the fruit for their market, no progress has been made so far in this regard.
Ahmed said that exporters will focus on exports to Japan, Australia, South Korea, US, Mauritius and Lebanon markets this year.
Pakistan is presently exporting mango to at least 40 countries of the world.
The varieties that are commercially exported from Pakistan are Sindhri, Sunhaira, Fajri, Began Phali, Summer Chaunsa, Black Chaunsa and White Chaunsa.