Pakistan’s mango export commenced from Saturday onwards, according to All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA).
Moreover, PFVA has set an export target of 100,000 metric tonnes for this year.
Last year, the mango export target was set at 100,000 tonnes and towards the end of the season the export stood at 128,000 metric tonnes, which fetched USD 68 million, stated Patron-in-Chief of PFVA Waheed Ahmed.
Ahmed explained that the export target has been set at 100,000 metric tonnes as mango producers have already faced huge losses due to unexpected climatic changes.
Due to a prolonged winter season , hail storm and strong winds in Punjab, the collective production of mango is anticipated to decline to about 600,000 metric tonnes from an estimated production of 18,00,000 metric tonnes.
Punjab produces about 67 percent of the mangoes in Pakistan. However, severe climatic conditions have let to 50 percent mangoes being affected. The extent of damage can only be ascertained once mangoes become available in the market.
Pakistan exports mangoes to 50 countries across the world, shared Ahmed, adding that in the current season attention is being paid to China, US and South Korea.
Last year, export value of mangoes was between USD 680 to USD 700 per metric tonne. However, in the current season this value would be USD 650 per metric tonne, he added.
Ahmed also requested the Punjab government to reserve funds in upcmoning budger to encounter the menace of climate changes during crop production.
He said that the climatic changes are big challenge for the entire agriculture sector, including horticulture sector, and technology can be utilised to find appropriate solutions.
With use of modern technology the damage caused by hail storms can be avoided and losses can be minimised, said Ahmed.
Waheed also pressed the federal government to fulfill its commitment to cost reduction by extending seven percent financial assistance on export of fruits and vegetables in the forthcoming budget.
He further emphasised that the government must take serious notice of discriminatory policy of freight cost by the foreign carries to Pakistan. The carriers must also be bound to charge appropriate freight rate.
Foreign carriers are charging freight cost of USD 1.26 per kilogramme from Bombay to London, where as USD 1.70 per kg is being charged for the sector Karachi to London. The high costs make it difficult for Pakistan’s mangoes to compete in the international market.