KARACHI: All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) set a target of exporting 175,000 tonnes of mangoes worth $65 million this year, co-chairman of the association reported on Tuesday.
“The export is all set to start from May 25, and may last till October,” PFVA co-Chairman Waheed Ahmed said.
The target, in terms of tonnage, is similar to the previous year; however, the worth of the set exporting target is $5 million more than last year, he said.
“The association kept its target unchanged due to its complete focus upon exporting quality mango this year rather than the quantity of mangoes,” he said, adding, that the European Union (EU) has informed they will make an unusually strict examination of Pakistani mangoes this year.
Pakistan exported 24,000 tonnes of mangoes to EU last year. “We may see a decline of above 30 percent in mango exports to EU, from last year’s 24,000 tonnes,” he said.
For the last two-three years, another source said, EU has been warning Pakistan of a ban. Only last year, the 28-nation bloc rejected 200 to 250 shipments of Pakistani mangoes after finding different pests.
In April 2014, EU banned import of mangoes from India after finding fruit flies in its consignments. However, it has reportedly withdrawn the ban recently, the source added.
To avert a likely ban form EU, the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, and the Pakistan Quarantine Department of Plant Production have made hot water treatment mandatory for mangoes to be exported to EU. “The treatment kills fruit flies and another eight to 10 diseases in mangoes, increasing shelf life of the fruit by up to 35 days,” he said.
However, those farms which have been declared free from fruit flies and other pests would remain exempted from giving hot water treatment.
In this regard, PFVA co-Chairman Ahmed said that earlier, the quarantine department, which is responsible for exporting bug-free mangoes globally, declared over 15 farms free from pests and fruit flies. “Officials of the department are still visiting orchards in Sindh these days, as the province starts producing the fruit in May,” he said.
Another major reason for keeping the export target unchanged from last year is end of trade ties between Pakistan and Iran due to US sanctions upon latter. “Iran has a $10 million (30,000-tonne mangoes) market for Pakistani mangoes,” he said.
Industry sources, however, added that Pakistan sells its mangoes to Iran through different channels and/or under barter system. “Last year, Pakistan exchanged its mangoes for fruits, dry fruits, tar, and a few chemicals,” an industry source said.
Like previous years, co-chairman of PFVA said, Pakistan could not export mangoes to value added markets like Japan and US because of non-availability of the technology and the treatment, which the two countries demand.
However, Pakistan can increase exporting mangoes to recently found new markets, including China, South Korea, and Mauritius. “We can increase export of our mangoes to such countries by focusing more on quality and more importantly on appearance of mangoes,” he said. Pakistan exports mangoes to about 27 destinations including Britain, France, Germany, Norway, Holland, Canada, Bahrain, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia, Bangladesh, Malaysia, UAE, and other counties of Middle East, he concluded.
Source: The NEWS