Mango exports kick off: first consignment leaves for Middle East, Europe
May 26, 2013
IQBAL MIRZA & ZAHID BAIG
Mango exports: First consignment of 400 tons of mango left the country on Saturday to herald the start of mango export season – 2013. An export target of 175,000 tons has been set for this season which would fetch US $60 million. Waheed Ahmed, Chairman, Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association told Business Recorder that the fruit was airlifted by PIA, Emirates, Etihad and Qatar Lines besides a substantial portion has also been sent by sea.
He said the consignment was destined to Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, United Kingdom and Germany. Besides the traditional markets, efforts are also being made to export mango to Japan this season after meeting their quarantine requirements. A meeting with the Commerce Secretary was held here on Saturday where detailed discussions were held to facilitate exporters reach the Japanese market.
Waheed Ahmed said that Commerce Secretary was very positive in his approach and assured the exporters of his best possible co-operation in overcoming the difficulty faced by them with regard to quarantine restrictions. He said that achieving mango export target totally depended on weather conditions and co-operation from customs, shipping and airlines and plant protection departments. Improvement in law and order situation would also play an import part as strikes and shut downs would naturally be an impediment in pushing export of mango.
In the meanwhile new Sabzi Mandi which caters to the storage and supply of fruit and vegetables is being cleared of encroachers and land grabbers to facilitate traders and exporters in their day to day work. Rangers and police successfully launched operation to remove encroachments in the Mandi on Super Highway here on Saturday. M Mirza of Market Committee told Business Recorder that the operation which was launched at 12 noon will continue till the area is cleared. He said that all the encroachments on roads and footpaths, where pushcarts and shops had been setup are being cleared.
He said operation was necessary against this nuisance which was causing unnecessary hardships for the traders, adding it would allow safe and free flow of trucks carrying goods which arrived from all over the country daily. He said operation was going on smoothly and there had been no resistance or interference from any quarter. The anti-encroachment staff and security staff of Market Committee would ensure that encroachers did not re-appear and force other operation.
The decision to launch the operation was taken last week at a meeting between Market Committee members and Rangers. The response was quick and the Rangers and police responded in a positive way to provide relief and facilitate the arrival of goods at Sabzi Mandi.
Mirza said in the first phase all encroachments were being removed and in the second phase operation would be launched against land grabbers, which should also not pose any problem. Visitors to the Sabzi Mandi are flabbergasted to see substandard facilities, like condition of roads, footpaths, lane and sheds where goods are stored. During rains the entire area gets submerged and becomes un-motor able, hindering trucks arriving in hundreds daily. Proper maintenance of roads and other facilities would not only enhance its importance but generate more revenues for the government.
Four consignments weighing about five tons were dispatched by Jehanzeb Khan Mohamand & Company to Germany and Qatar through air. The mango export season inauguration ceremony was attended by the representatives of the Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC), Trade Development Authority (TDAP) Masood Ahmad Malik and Saeed Khan respectively.
Sources in the PHDEC told Business Recorder here on Saturday that Pakistan produces around 1.8 million tons of mangoes annually. Pakistan exports about one hundred thousand tons of mangoes to various international markets in the world, it added. With few days variation due to the weather conditions during production season, Pakistani mango harvest starts from the third week of May and stretches up to 15 September with its late White Chaunsa variety. The Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan in consultation with the stakeholders, fixes a starting date for export of mangoes every year. This year, May 25 was fixed as the starting date for export of mangoes popularly known as king of fruits.
Jahanzeb Khan appreciated the efforts of Ministry of commerce, PHDEC & TDAP for assisting the stakeholders to improve the supply chain, thereby expanding the commodity base, volumes and access to new international markets. Bashir Hussain, CEO of PHDEC, talking to Lahore reporter on telephone said that Pakistani mangoes had a great potential of becoming an important exotic fruit sold in the international market and could help to boost the horticultural exports of the country.
He mentioned that due to aggressive export policies and market promotion programmes of the MoC and PHDEC, Pakistani mangoes had been given access to South Korea, Lebanon and Mauritius. He also mentioned that PHDEC was aggressively pursuing the finalisation of protocols for export of Pakistani mangoes to Australia, and hoped the process would be completed during that season and some trial/promotional consignments would be sent to Australia. He also expected that export of mangoes would be over hundred thousand tons this season.
Masood Malik in his address said that because of its location on the globe, Pakistan had vast potential for production and export of all kinds of horticultural products to the world. He further emphasised that the government should invest in development of Cool Chain for safe storage and transportation of horticultural products. In his opinion, small investments from the government in this sector, the exports can exhibit very sharp increases in short times.
“We are having a good production in Punjab which constitutes 70 percent of the total mango production of Pakistan. However, there is some slight loss in Sindh due to weather. Despite this over all situation of the crop is very good,” said PHDEC Karachi General Manager Razaq Malkana while talking to us on telephone. Mango exports
He also said that with the opening of new high end markets and promotional activities of PHDEC, Pakistani mango export would be higher than the previous years both in quantity and price per unit. He further said that PHDEC in collaboration with a group of progressive mango orchard owner from Sindh (Sindh Mango Growers), research and academia under Australian funded ASLP project was doing trials and experimentation for sea freighting of mangoes to European destination in Controlled Atmosphere (CA) containers. “The results of the last year were very encouraging. It will be a major breakthrough for mango industry of Pakistan to cut down the freight charges.” Business Recorder