PAKISTAN'S JUICY CHAUNSA & KINNO FASCINATING EXPORT MARKET

Iran could be a bonanza for the Pakistani exporters of mango and Kinno.

By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Oct 03 - 09, 2005

Pakistan has sent first consignment of 50 tons of mangoes to Iran during the mango season this year. This consignment of Chaunsa variety of mangoes was sent under the supervision of Pakistan Horticulture Development & Export Board.

According to the Chief Operating Officer of the Board, the Iranian government had also allowed the import of 6,020 tons of mango from Pakistan and issued permits to different parties.

It may be recalled that Iran used to be the major buyer of Pakistani mangoes, which was later lost to other competitors obviously due to lack of proper marketing and quality concerns.

With the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Iran, Pakistan is now on its way to retrieve the situation and its yearly mango export could go up to 100,000 tons in due course of time.

The latest consignment was delivered at the Bandar Abbas seaport as Iran had quarantine facilities only at the seaport and airports. It is yet to establish such facility at land entry points. Once the land quarantine facility is established at entry points, mangoes could be sent through land routes, making them more competitive in the Iranian market.

An Iranian team had also visited Pakistan and cleared all of its quarantine and other procedural requirements; Insurance process of mango consignments has also been started to cover all risks in the process. The cumulative effect of all these factors should encourage more exports and help Pakistan recover its lost ground in the Iranian market.

The Chief Executive Officer of the Board said that Iran would be a bonanza for the Pakistani exporters of mango and Kinno.

On his return from Iran, where he led a Pakistani delegation to explore possibilities of exporting mangoes and Kinnos, he said that Iranian importers have placed bulk trial orders for Pakistani mango and Kinno. Now, it is up to the Pakistani exporters to pull their stocks up and practically create capacity to handle such orders, which would only grow with the quality and meeting the export commitments on time.

The delegation of Pakistani exporters accompanied by Sadiq had one-to-one meetings with the importers in Iran. They also had detailed meetings with the Iranian trade officials and members of the chambers of commerce and industry. Fruits will be exported to Iran under a protocol signed between both the countries regarding quality, standards, storage preservation and certification of mangoes and Kinno.

SHANGHAI CAMPAIGN

A three-day promotion campaign was launched to introduce Pakistani mangoes in Shanghai recently. The Consulate General of Pakistan at Shanghai imported Pakistani mangoes, especially Chaunsa, which were presented to local government leaders, various trade chambers and commercial organizations and fruit importers.

An introductory free tasting of Pakistani mangoes was organized at Shanghai's largest shopping centre (Carrefour) located in the center of the town. A large number of Chinese and foreign nationals visited the mango display booth to taste mangoes. Free tasting of Pakistan's juicy mangoes was also arranged at restaurants at Nanjing road. Initial response was encouraging and almost all those who tried the mangoes highly appreciated the taste and flavor, saying this was the best mango they have ever tasted. The manager of the supermarket and the hotel owners were surprised at the customers' overwhelming response and decided to import mangoes from Pakistan.

PAK MANGOES IN SWEDEN

Another 3-day mango festival of mango associated with salads, ice cream, shakes and other delicacies was also arranged to introduce mangoes in high-income customer venues in Sweden.

The President and the Prime Minister of Pakistan introduced the mangoes in their messages, which were read on that occasion. It is believed that such exhibitions and festivals for introducing Pakistani fruits especially mangoes and Kinno may significantly add to the exports of the country.

Pakistan citrus fruits are the most important fruit crops grown on the area of 160,000 hectares with an annual production of 1.5 MMT. Citrus fruit is grown in all four provinces of Pakistan but Punjab produces over 95% of the crop because of its greater population, favorable growing conditions and adequate water. Citrus are divided into different groups - sweet oranges, mandarin, grapefruit, lemon and lime - which are being grown commercially.

Major citrus growing areas in Pakistan include: Sargodha, Sahiwal, Lahore, Sialkot, Jhang, Mianwali, Multan, Gujranwala, Mardan, Peshawer, Swat, Swabi, Noshera and Hazzara, Sukkur, Khairpur, Nawabshah, Mekran, Sibi and Kech.

APPLE

Apple is another important fruit of temperate climate and is very popular in the world. It was cultivated in Greece as early as 600 BC or earlier. During the time a number of wild varieties were known. Animals into Europe perhaps spread those varieties before much cultivation was practiced.

In Pakistan, apples are grown as Commercial Fruit Plants in Balochistan and N.W.F.P., since a long time ago. Because of its attractive income the growers in Swat, Dir, Mansehra, Para Chinar, Chitral, Hunza, North and South Waziristan Agencies took up apple plantation.

District Swat covers an area of approximately 4000 square miles in the Malakand Division. The area is mainly a river valley surrounded by mountains, which also have fertile valley feedings into the main Swat Plain. District Swat is the most important of all the apple producing districts of N.W.F.P. Next in importance comes the districts of Mansehra, Dir, Abbottabad, Chitral and Hunza.