King of fruits
June 25 - July 01, 2007
Pakistan is blessed with different types of soil, topographies and climatic conditions suitable for growing a large variety of fruits, flowers and vegetables. Among these, mango enjoys a dominating position. It is widely called "the King of Asiatic Fruits". It is considered as one of the finest fruits in the world. Mango is grown in tropical and sub-tropical regions. It is grown in India, China, Thailand, Pakistan, Mexico, Bangladesh, Phillipines, Indonesia, Brazil, Nigeria, Egypt, Viet Nam, Peru, Haiti etc.
Pakistan has established an export market for its mango and possesses bright opportunities for export in the international market whether in fresh or processed forms. The mango industry has thus provided livelihood opportunities to its growers and those involved in its marketing chain. Almost half of the world's mango is produced by India. It is regarded as a valuable item of diet and a household variety because of its food value, with the following contents.
Small amounts of Vitamin B
*Values per 100 gms edible portion
Calorific Value - 74
Mango is the second major fruit crop of Pakistan. During the year 2004-05 mango was grown on an area of 151535 hectares with production of 1673947 metering tons. Province-wise production was as under:
PERCENTAGE OF TOTAL PRODUCTION
Source: Agricultural Statistics of Pakistan, MINFAL, Islamabad, 2004-05
The production of mango during 2005-06, according to the above source, was 1753.9 (thousand) tons, while the target was 1.6 million tons. The original export target was 1.0 million tons. However, another view is that because of cold wave about 20-25 percent of the mango crop was damaged in Punjab and the production came down to 1.3 million tons. The revised export target of 80,000 tons was achieved, which fetched an earning of 30 million dollars in foreign exchange.
Of the total export of mango, 83 percent is exported to the Middle East. Pakistan's existing main markets are U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Kingdom and Kuwait.. About 14.8 percent of the total export of mango from Pakistan goes to Europe. Ratio between local consumption and export is 30:70.
Pakistan is the fifth largest producer and third largest exporter of mango in the world. Its soil and climatic conditions suit production of good quality fresh mango over a period of five to six months. Demand of Pakistani mango is increasing in the international market because of its superb quality, taste and flavour. A former Consul — General of China (who during his posting in Pakistan must have adequately tasted Pakistani mango) spoke very high of Pakistani mango in a press conference, generously admitting that although China was producing mango in abundance, they were not as tasty and sweet as Pakistani mangoes are.
Amongst the well known Pakistani mango varieties are Malda, Dosehri, Langra, Chaunsa, Anwar Ratool and Sammar Bahasht, which are produced in the province of Punjab. Chaunsa is the late variety. Sindhri, Gulab Khas, Baigan Paali and Neelum are prominent varieties of Sindh. As during the summer, Sindh is hotter than Punjab, Sindhi varieties of mangoes arrive early in the market.
New markets, which have been explored are China, Iran, South Africa, Australia, Russian Federation, CIS/East Europe. Signing protocols with China and Iran have enabled Pakistan exploring new markets. One most favourable aspect of these markets are that they are at the next doorstep of our country. This is no doubt a huge market to capitalize the potentials. However, exporters need to meet the international market requirements of quality and standards throughout the value chain from pre-harvest and post-harvest stage.
Research work on the mango orchards regarding identification and proper management of the diseases such as sanitation, pruning, chemical control is going on. However, the best prescription of the Research Department is "Prevention is better than cure". Composting and mulching is a useful technique, which is termed as "Forest Ecology right back in mango orchard".
The U.N. ECE Standards have defined minimum standards. The fruit must be in-tact, firm, fresh, clean free from any marked bruising from any visible foreign matter, free from black stains or trails under the skin, free from marked bruising, practically free from pests and damages caused by pests or low temperature and any foreign smell and taste.
In order to overcome the problems in the fulfillments of WTO's/international markets, Punjab Agriculture Department has established Soil and Water Testing Laboratories at each district level. For meeting the requirements of Quarantine, the Government of Pakistan has established facilities of fumigation chambers at Karachi.
For boosting up exports of mango, shipment by sea has proved more useful and economical and is being preferred by the exporters for an access to the international markets at comparatively much lower cost. A mango Grader has been registered with the Qurantine Deptt. of China and two more plants on the modern and scientific lines have also been established.
The need of the hour is to increase the export of mangoes at reasonably competitive rates by meeting the international requirements of quality, grading, packing/packaging, processing, fumigation, hot water treatment etc. At the same time processing and preparing value addition of mango should also be given a due priority to earn more and more foreign exchange. Value additional of mango has great scope of export and earning.
MARKETING PROBLEMS AND SUGGESTIONS
Some 40 percent post-harvest losses are because of inadequate knowledge of picking, grading, packing, handling and transportation. Lack of proper cold storages and refrigerated transport facilities also result in high losses. Cold storage arrangements need to be made at Multan, Bahawalpur and other airports, besides increasing the cargo booking by air and by sea during the harvesting season of the fruit. Exports Promotion Bureau and Business Attaches of our Foreign Missions should keep our exporters well informed of the requirements of foreign buyers. Horticulturist Department and Research Department must keep on guiding the mango horticulturists on pests management and healthy pre and post harvesting of the fruit to minimize the losses, which are off and on incurred by the growers, subsequently impacting the export.