Enterprise - - EXPORTS -

Af­ter the record high level of mango pro­duc­tion in 2010, the cur­rent year is be­ing slated as the most favourable for mango ex­ports from Pak­istan. The in­tro­duc­tion of the fruit in the mar­kets of Rus­sia and China with the sup­port of the Trade De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity (TDAP) re­flects the high po­ten­tial of mango pro­duc­tion in the coun­try. More­over, the fruit will be ex­ported to the US mar­ket in big­ger quan­ti­ties af­ter re­ceiv­ing an ap­pre­cia­ble re­sponse from its in­tro­duc­tion there last year.

Ac­cord­ing to an ex­pert anal­y­sis, as ex­plained byAhmed Jawad, CEO Har­vest Trad­ing, the favourable weather con­di­tions in Sindh and Pun­jab this year are a ma­jor rea­son for the good har­vest.

As there have been much concern over the disease-hit mango plan­ta­tions in Sindh; GAP (Good Agri­cul­tural Prac­tices) cer­ti­fied grow­ers re­port that no ma­jor vi­ral at­tacks have hit the crop in lower Sindh, while there have been some cases in up­per Sindh. The lower Sindh re­gion is fa­mous for its ex­port-qual­ity mango pro­duc­tion.

How­ever, non-GAP cer­ti­fied grow­ers have a dif­fer­ent view. They hold the long win­ters and short spring as an ab­nor­mal cli­matic con­di­tion for the crop, be­sides var­i­ous other crop syn­dromes. Sit­u­a­tions like cut­ting of trees for clear­ing the area for other cash crops in a bid to earn more money is also a point of worry for these or­chard own­ers. The ar­gu­ment re­gard­ing long win­ters is termed by the GAPcer­i­ti­fied grow­ers as favour­ing the fruit.

The di­vided opin­ions of or­chard own­ers point to the sig­nif­i­cance of mod­ern agri­cul­tural prac­tices. GAP is an ini­tia­tive of the US Agency for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (USAID) which is work­ing to ex­pand the mango in­dus­try in Pak­istan by in­tro­duc­ing mod­ern farm­ing meth­ods. So far, 21 mango farms have qual­i­fied for GAP cer­ti­fi­ca­tion.

The cer­ti­fi­ca­tion re­quires ap­pli­ca­tion of stan­dard­ised phy­tosan­i­tary re­quire­ments, which in­clude op­er­a­tional pro­to­cols, pre-clear­ance in­spec­tions and ir­ra­di­a­tion. The pro­vi­sion of cer­ti­fied nurs­eries and tech­ni­cal as­sis­tance to mango grow­ers has re­sulted in im­proved qual­ity in pro­duc­tion and disease-free man­goes.

These mod­ern prac­tices pro­mote high den­sity mango farm­ing, as the yield per acre is en­hanced by the in­creased num­ber of trees per acre as op­posed to the cur­rent prac­tice of a lim­ited num­ber of plants in many ar­eas.

The mango grow­ers are re­ceiv­ing sup­port from the Agribusi­ness Sup­port Fund, while

the es­tab­lish­ment of a cen­tre of ex­cel­lence for man­goes in Pun­jab in col­lab­o­ra­tion with USAID is an­other in­di­ca­tion of ef­forts be­ing made to en­hance mango ex­ports.

A di­verse range of mango species comes from each prov­ince of Pak­istan. Sindh yields Sindhri, Gu­la­bkhas, Swarnarice, Ba­gan­pilli, Col­lec­tor and Neelum. Pun­jab is the pro­ducer of the widest range, from Malda, Lan­gra and An­war Ra­tol to Aman Duseri, Fa­jri Kalan and Sen­sa­tion.

Khy­ber Pakhtunnkhwa of­fers the unique taste of Len­gra and Samer Bahisht, while Balochis­tan plays a sig­nif­i­cant role by pro­duc­ing Sindhri and Ban­gan­palli. The over­all mango pro­duc­tion in Pak­istan is a mat­ter of pride for the Pak­ista­nis ev­ery­where.

Pak­istan has the po­ten­tial to ex­port about 30 to forty per­cent of the world’s man­goes. This is much more than the do­mes­tic need, as op­posed to the cur­rent ex­port of only five per­cent of to­tal pro­duc­tion in the coun­try. If this can gen­er­ate rev­enues of over $61 mil­lion, then higher ex­ports would mean much higher for­eign ex­change earn­ings

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