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Mango An important fruit of Pakistan

We have to improve the exports

By Dr. S.M. Alam & M. A. Khan,
 NIA, Tandojam, Pakistan.

June 25 - July 01, 2001

The word Mango is the British pronunciation of the Mankay, the Tamil word for the fruit, because it is found in most abundance in Southern India, around Madras. The mango is held in high esteem all over the world and is considered to be native of Indo-Pakistan Sub-continent and eastern Asia. They are to be found in nearly all over the tropical regions of the World, therefore known as "The King" of all fruits. Mango is cultivated around February/early March, when the cold weather begins to subside and the danger of destruction through frost disappears. It comes in market early in the May and remains in market till August/September. There are more than 1300 varieties of the mango, which are cultivated in the Indo-Pak Sub-continent. In Sindh, there are more than 125 varieties of mango. As we get mangoes from Balochistan and NWFP, but the main source are Sindh and Punjab. In Pakistan we get more than 10 lacs tons production, out of which Sindh provides 50% i.e. more than 5 lacs tons. Multan and Mirpurkhas are the main regions, where we get mangoes in large quantity. The maximum production, we get from Rahim Yar Khan, where mangoes are cultivated on more than 26 thousand acres.

The main field of mango is obtained from District Rahim Yar Khan, Rahimabad, Jamaldin wali, Sadiqabad, Shaikh Wahan, Mianwali Qureshan Zahirpur, Bagho Bahar, Tirandah Mohammad Panah of district Rahim Yar Khan are very famous for mango production. Whereas, Hyderabad, Tandojam, Tando Allahyar, Tando Jan Muhammad, Digri, Nawab Shah, Naushero Feroz, Khairpur Mirus, Ghotki, Bahawalpur, Shuja abad, MuzzaffarGarh, KoatAddu, Khanewal, Sahiwal, Vihari, Okara, Faisalabad, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh and Sargodha are also very famous for mango production. There are many varieties which are famous in Pakistan, but some varieties which are very common are: Sindhri, Langra, Chaunsa, Fajri, Samar Bahist, Anwar Ratole, Dasehri, Saroli, Tuta Pari, Neelam, Maldah, Collector, Bengan Phali, etc.

As mango is named as "King of the Fruits" similarly, Sindhri is said to be "The King of Mango", because this variety is top in Pakistan. Sindhri is yellow in colour, and test is very sweet. Sindhri mangoes were first brought by father of late Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo from Bombay and then cultivated at Sindhri and it was named by his father Din Muhammad Junejo as "Sindhri". Since 1996-97, Pakistan was on 4th position, but according to Jang Midweek Magazine dated 12th July 2000, Pakistan is on 5th rank. India is still on top on the production of 12 million tons.

World Mango Production. Year-1999

Brazil 0.60 million ton.
China 2.1 million ton.
Egypt 0.23 million ton.
India 12 million ton.
Indonesia 0.60 million ton.
Mexico 1.5 million ton.
Pakistan 0.91 millionton.
Philippines 0.93 million ton.
Thailand 1.25 million ton.
World product 23.80 million ton.

In the year 1999 Pakistan exported about 40.2 thousand tons, whereas Mexico stands first in the export of 209.4 thousand tons. Here is a list of ten topmost mango producing countries of the year-l999.

Brazil 39.2 thousand tons.

France 9.0
Guatemala 10.2
Hati 7.1
Holland 17.1
India 26.7
Mexico 209.4
Pakistan 40.2
Pero 10.5
Philippines 52.5
Worldwide 509.8

The point of concern is that the yield per hectare, 10 tons on the average, is not increasing. This yield is about one-third, when compared to other mango growing countries.

Mango Factors: A number of factors are responsible for the low yield including high water table and salinity, inadequate and unbalanced fertilization and lacs of plant protection measures. The widespread problem of waterlogging and salinity is a major threat to mango cultivation and the province of Sindh is the worst affected. For successful cultivation of mango orchards, the water table must be maintained at 3 meters from the ground surface. The mango yield considerably decreases, when water table comes to the level of 1.5 meters. The desired level could be achieved by the provision of a suitable drainage system.

Mango fruit is rich in vitamins, A, B and C, and contains water, protein, sugar, fats, calcium, phosphorus, fiber and iron. Mangoes according to latest scientific research as well as of folk wisdom are known to increase the body resistance against dysentery, cholera and tuberculosis. It is said "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", this is equally to of the mango. According to our local tradition, raw mango seasoned with a pinch of salt quenches thirst and loss of iron in the body, which occurs due to excessive sweating during the sultry summer. Although Pakistan produces 10 lacs tons per year, but in export, Pakistan is quite far behind with other countries. Uptil 1950s, mango cultivation was rather scanty and a lot of commodity used to come from India, through travellers. However, in the beginning of 60s, some landlords brought strains from India and grafted them in Pakistan. Over due course of time, Pakistan over took India in mango cultivation and right now produces varieties which cater not only to the domestic market, but overseas too. The chief market of Pakistan, mangoes are the Middle Eastern countries. Pakistan also exports these mangoes to other countries like Singapore, Norway, Germany, France, Japan and South Korea.

However, since some years, unfortunately the export of this fruit is facing an uptil struggle on account of tough competition from other Asian countries mainly India. Latin American countries like Brazil having now also come into the field and Pakistan near monopoly is now being challenged. There could be many reasons for this showing down of exports. One of these reasons is the traditional manner of crop production and halfhearted efforts at research. Moreover, we should never forget that the buyers in the world market are not just interested in prices. They also want good presentation. We have to constantly watch for trends, choices and preferences of the buyers in the world markets.

Another thing, the processing should be made with the latest machines and packing should not only be fancy and eye catching but durable. It should ensure that the fruit would not rot in transit and that the quality would not diminish in the process. According to the study conducted by International Trade Centre in Geneva, Switzerland about 30 % of the food export of all over developing countries, one of which Pakistan is the one, perishes, before it reaches to the foreign market. This is because of the defective packing. Therefore, we have to improve it by all means to get more foreign exchange from other countries by exporting the good quality of mangoes.