Mango exports earned Pakistan $94.059 million in foreign exchange during 2014-16, officials in the Commerce Division said on Tuesday.
Quoting figures compiled by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), they said that 129,423 tons of mangoes were exported to various countries in the last two years. Figures for the recently-concluded fiscal year were not discussed.
During 2014-15, Pakistan exported 65,311 tons worth $45.672 million while in 2015-16,64,112 tons were exported valued at $48.387 million.
Most importing countries require vapour heat treatment and irradiation before accepting exports, the officials said, adding that the government has taken steps to improve quality including establishing of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for growers for effective farming and cultivation.
They said that 313 SOP-compliant mango orchards were registered for mango exports to the United States, Australia, Korea, European Union (EU) member countries and other markets after technical audit for quality.
Moreover, the officials said the government provided SOPs to fruit and vegetable exporters and established an irradiation facility and 34 Hot Water Treatment (HWT) and three Vapour Heat Treatment (VHT) facilities to ensure quality compliance by exporters. The officials said the government has also established 34 ripening chambers along with banning the use of calcium carbide
Packaging in wooden crates has also been banned to avoid damage incurred due to nails, rough surface of the wood and the latter’s potential for harboring pests and insects.
The government has facilitated sea-freighted export of fresh mangoes to lower transportation costs and makes the exported mangoes more competitive in the European market.
Cold storage facilities have been developed in Punjab and underdevelopment in Sindh will help to remove field heat (pre-shipment) to carry the shipment to its destinations without any quality loss/deterioration, they said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2017.