• Tuesday, October 22, 2019

King of fruits: Adding sweetness to Pakistan's sour economy

Discussion in 'Pakistan Economy' started by AZADPAKISTAN2009, Oct 10, 2019.

  1. AZADPAKISTAN2009

    AZADPAKISTAN2009 ELITE MEMBER

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    https://tribune.com.pk/story/2023557/2-king-fruits-adding-sweetness-pakistans-sour-economy/
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    Pakistan’s economy is in turmoil. Economic managers have long been engaged in efforts to pull the country out of this crisis, by foreign borrowing and assistance from global agencies.


    But what if the answer to all the troubles was not this complicated. What if all we had to do to put the country on the right path was to look to the ‘King of Fruits’ rather than ‘friendly allies’. We are after all said to be an agriculture-based economy.

    According to experts, Pakistan’s horticulture sector has so much potential that if it is tapped, the country can be rid of international lenders.

    In this context, The Express Tribune takes a look at mango, which is not just the national fruit of Pakistan, but also the second-most exported fruit grown in the country. Currently, the country’s mango production stands at 1.8 million tonnes, of which around 6% is exported.

    Widely cultivated in Sindh and Punjab provinces, the popular varieties of mangoes – Sindhri and Chaunsa – come from Tando Muhammad Khan and Badin, and Multan and Rahim Yar Khan respectively. Apart from these, other varieties available in the market include Langra, Dussehri and Anwar Ratole.



    This pulpy summer fruit is not just a season favourite in Pakistan, in fact it is hailed as the ‘King of Fruits’ in the entire sub-continent. About three-fourth of the world’s mangoes are produced in Asia and are much in demand due to their exceptional taste and versatility.

    Rich in flavour, aroma and colour, mangoes have an interesting history that dates back centuries.

    From Alexander to the Mughal emperors of the sub-continent, mango was the fruit of the royals. It is said that the obsessive love for mangoes was the only legacy that flowed from one generation to the next in the Mughal dynasty. In fact, during his rule, Akbar had planted over 100,000 mango trees.

    This tradition of growing mangoes continued and as things stand Pakistan is the world’s fourth largest producer. Heralding the arrival of summer, mangoes become available in the market from early May and remain till September.

    Despite this, the country seems to have hit a roadblock because neither are we able to boost exports nor the area under cultivation, which is the need of the hour.

    An official of the Ministry of Commerce told The Express Tribune that Pakistan produces around 1.75 million tons of mangoes each year. In the past, the country was able to export over 100,000 tons of mangoes during 2005-06 and 2012-13, which was around 6% of production.

    However, the export capacity is a lot more than this, he stressed, adding that Pakistan has ample capacity but lacks capability to export mangoes in greater volumes.

    Responding to a question as to why the country has been unable to boost exports, the official said over the past couple of years Pakistan has entered many new markets but unfortunately it has not been able to boost export of mangoes.

    “Poor quality and lack of will/commitment on the part of exporters to deliver the quality demanded by the international market are some of the factors hindering the growth in mango exports,” he said.

    “Another factor responsible for lower exports has been low per-hectare yield ie higher per unit cost.”

    In its annual work plan for 2019-20, Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC) has included orchard management, cool chain and provision of heavy scanners at airports to cope with the above-mentioned issues, he added.

    The ministry official also cited higher cost of Hot Water Treatment (HWT), poor packaging and higher air freight for different destinations as other factors.

    He said whenever the international market tastes Pakistani mangoes, it loves the taste, aroma and sweetness but due to the look and appearance of Pakistani mangoes and low-quality packaging, the mangoes are considered B and even C quality.

    “PHDEC recently organised a tasting event in China and while Chinese people liked the taste, they were not satisfied with the look, appearance and corresponding price of our mangoes versus others available from Thailand and from within the country.”

    The official said in order to improve mango export, besides change in the mindset of exporters, the growers and exporters will have to work together to make quality product available in the market.

    Consensus on boosting exports

    Talking about this issue, Javed Iqbal, who is an entomologist at the Plant Protection Department, told The Express Tribune that there is vast potential to increase mango exports as there is a lot of demand for the fruit. However, there is not much focus on this, he added.

    He was of the view that since more time, effort and research is required in this endeavour, the growers are unwilling to increase production area. Also, due to the slow growth of the product, people prefer cash crops for quicker returns.

    Elaborating on the current system, Iqbal said that Pakistan exports Sindhri and Chaunsa mangoes, which are preferred varieties in the international market. “There is a higher appeal for these two varieties as the flavour has not been developed for other types in the global market,” Iqbal said.

    Citing other reasons for the export of just two varieties, he said the production of Anwar Ratole and Dussehri is very low, which hinders export of the commodity. Moreover, Chaunsa’s longer shelf-life allows it to lord it over other varieties as this trait increases the preference for the commodity.

    Pakistan exports mangoes to approximately 57 countries, which include Middle Eastern countries, Europe, UK, US and Japan. However, the bulk of demand for Pakistani mangoes comes from the UAE, UK, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
     
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  2. Sulman Badshah

    Sulman Badshah STAFF

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    Tonnage shouldn't be target ... $$$ should be the target

    I've seen Pakistani premium mango selling cheaper than other countries one in foreign
     
  3. AZADPAKISTAN2009

    AZADPAKISTAN2009 ELITE MEMBER

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    Well at least the material is being exported in larger market
     
  4. Hamartia Antidote

    Hamartia Antidote ELITE MEMBER

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    Mangoes are tricky. They have to go through a fruit fly elimination process.
     
  5. Ahmet Pasha

    Ahmet Pasha SENIOR MEMBER

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    When will you start selling them here. Currently tasteless Mexican or SouthAmerican mangoes are dominating US market. They taste like shit.
    :cry::cry::sick::bad::bad:
     
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