MANGOES: THE KING OF FRUITS

DR. S. M. ALAM
(feedback@pgeconomist.com)

Aug
15 - 21, 2011

Mango is produced in over 90 countries worldwide. Asia accounts for approximately 77 per cent of global mango production, and the Americas and Africa account for approximately 13 per cent and nine per cent respectively. Although not a major mango producer, the United States has developed most of the popular cultivars traded on the international market. It is also the largest single-country mango importer.

This article summarizes some of the recent trends in world and US mango production, trade, and consumption.

In 2005, world production of mango was estimated at 28.51 million metric tons. Between 1996 and 2005, production grew at an average annual rate of 2.6 per cent.

India is the largest producer of mangoes, accounting for 38.6 per cent of world production from 2003 to 2005. During that period, India's mango crop averaged 10.79 million metric tons, followed by China and Thailand at 3.61 million metric tons (12.9 per cent) and 1.73 million metric tons (6.2 per cent), respectively.

Other leading mango producers during the 2008 to 2009 period included Mexico (5.5 per cent), Indonesia (5.3 per cent), Pakistan (4.5 per cent), Brazil (4.3 per cent), the Philippines (3.5 per cent), Nigeria (2.6 per cent), and Egypt (1.3 per cent).

Although currently only three per cent of the world production of mango is traded globally, this represents a noticeable increase over the quantities traded 20 years ago. In terms of distribution, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador, and Haiti supply the majority of mango imports to the North American market.

India and Pakistan are the predominant suppliers to the West Asian market. The Philippines and Thailand supply most of the Southeast Asian market. The European Union mainly buys mangoes from South America and Asia. In 2007, world exports of mangoes reached 912,853 metric tons, totaling US$543.10 million (FAOSTAT 2007).

India replaced Mexico as the largest producer of mangoes in 2005. For the 2003 to 2005 period, Mexico and India dominated the export trade with shares of 22.6 per cent and 20.3 per cent respectively, followed by Brazil (13.2 per cent) and Pakistan (6.9 per cent).

Other cultivars gaining popularity in the international market include Alphona, Dudhpeda, Kesar, Sindhu, Pairi, Desi, Chaunsa, Langra, and Katchamita. Most of the newer cultivars are coming from India and Pakistan.

There is evidence that the processed mango fruit market is increasing. Processed fruit products include mango juice, pickled mangoes, mango chutney, mango pulp, mango paste, mango puree, dried mango fruit, mango slices in brine, and mango flour. India is the main exporter of processed mangoes, followed by Pakistan, Brazil, and Zimbabwe. Major importers include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arab, Kuwait, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada.

Mango is one of the most favorite and liked fruit of the world. It has typical fragrance and delighted taste. Because of these typical qualities, it bears the title of "King of fruits".

Pakistan is 5th in the world regarding mango production, whereas India and China had improved their production in past decade. The potential yield per hectare of mango is 21.6 t/ha as compared to its average yield of 9.96 t/ha. This shows a vivid difference, which may be attributed to multifarious factors like insect/pests of mango like mealy bug, fruit fly, diseases like powdery mildew, anthracnose, die back, as well as weather hazards, defective marking system and poor post cultivation management.

The mango is the most famous fruit of the country. Mango is held in high esteem all over the world and is considered to be native of Indo-Pakistan subcontinent and eastern Asia. They are to be found in nearly all over the tropical regions of the world, therefore mango is truly called the King of all fruits. Mangoes are full in nutrients, recognized as excellent source of vitamins, A, B, C and D.

Mango also contains significant amount of proteins, sugars, organic acids, lipids, volatile compounds, fats, phosphorus, potassium, fiber, and iron. It is a natural tonic for fragile and physiologically weak children.

Eating mangoes by women in pregnancy helps birth of a fair color and healthy children. It also increases milk in breast feeding mothers for sucking by the babies. It has some unique quality of taste, color, and dietary value.

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 sizzling summer.

It has also been reported that leaves, bark, gum, fruit, and seed stone all have their respective values.

Mango ice cream, mango milk shake, and squash are favorite desserts. Mango juice pulp, jelly, chutney, jam marmalade, and pickles are also being manufactured by good industries in the country.

In the subcontinent, mangoes are used as blood builders when taken with milk. Because of their high iron content they are recommended in the treatment of anemia and are beneficial to women during pregnancy and menstruation.

Mango is tipped as a potential top exportable commodity. Characterized by its exclusive taste, flavor, and aroma, Pakistani mango enjoys distinct demand globally particularly by the expatriate Pakistani living in USA, UK, Middle East and generally by immigrants of Asian origins.

There are many varieties of mango in the world and Pakistan grows many varieties. The most common available mango varieties in he country are Sindhri, Langra, Chaunsa, Fajri, Samar Bahisht, Anwar Retal, Dasehri, Saroli, Tuta Pairi, Neelam, Maldah, Alphonso, Saharni, Bengan Phali, Fazli etc.

Mango is a water-intensive fruit tree, requiring a lot of water to grow in hot summer month starting from May preceding the monsoons.

In Pakistan, mangoes are grown mainly in the Punjab (67 per cent) and Sindh (33 per cent).

Multan in Punjab & Mirpurkhas in Sindh are the main regions, where we get mangoes in large quantity. Mango prefers rich and fertile soils, because of its tap root system.

Soil type and cultural practices such as addition of right amount of fertilizers, farm yard manures, spray of insecticides and deep ploughing of orchards are very important for a good harvest.

As mango is named as the king of all fruits, Sindhri is called the king of mangoes, because this variety is top in taste and flavor.

Although Pakistan produces about 2.25 million tons per year, but in export Pakistan is quite far behind to other countries.

Until 1950s, the mango cultivation was rather scanty and a lot of commodity used to come from India, through travelers. However, in the beginning of 1960s, 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 superior varieties, which caters to not only the domestic market, but overseas too.

The chief market of Pakistan mangoes is the Middle Eastern countries such as Dubai, Qatar, Saudi Arab, Jordan, Syria, Oman, Yemen, and Lebanon.

Pakistan also exports these mangoes to other countries like Singapore, South Korea, Demark, Norway, Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Japan, US, Canada etc. Pakistan's export is quite low compared to other countries of the world. It exported about 0.105 million tons in 2007-08 fetching value of US$30 million.

Unfortunately, the export is facing competition from other Asian countries mainly India and Latin America countries. After Brazil having also come into the field, Pakistan's near monopoly is challenged.

There were also other reasons in exports decline. One of these reasons was the traditional manner of crop production and halfhearted efforts in research.

We should never forget that the buyers in the world market are not just interested in prices, but also want good presentation.

We have to constantly watch for trends, choices, and preferences of the buyers in the world markets.

It should ensure that the fruit would not rot in transit and that the quality would not diminish in the process. Infrastructure development like building for the cold storage facilities for perishable storage at the country's airports will go a long way in helping to establish Pakistan as a mango exporter. However, there is also the realization that much still needs to be done on the front line of particularly standardized processing packaging, transportation branding and quality control and application of requisite mango treatment techniques.

It has been reported that million of dollars go waste due to shortage of cold storage. It also needs radiation treatment, hot water treatment and steam treatment. In Pakistan, the post harvest wastages of fruits and vegetables are over 30 per cent due to lack of quality packaging houses.