KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has voiced serious concern over the dearth of state-of-the-art facilities for handling mango exports in the country.
“Mango is a perishable commodity that needs speedy, effective and careful handling during the export process while standardisation of exporting firms is another factor that affects shipments, particularly to industrialised countries,” said FPCCI Acting President Khalid Tawab in a statement on Saturday.
Though Pakistan mangoes were recognised as one of the best in the world and despite the country being the fifth leading producer, it had been unable to be a leading mango exporter, he said.
The delay in installing a vapour heat treatment (VHT) plant and shortage of hot water treatment facilities have made it difficult for Pakistan to tap markets of Japan, South Korea, USA and Iran for the last many years.
Tawab also pointed to other critical challenges such as post-harvest loss, lack of compliance and standardisation, phyto-sanitary requirements, contamination and lack of quality packaging and preservation that needed serious attention.
“According to safe estimates, 30% to 40% of mangoes are wasted every year due to unavailability of state-of-the-art facilities,” he said.
Tawab also underscored the need for exploring new markets for mango exports that had remained untapped so far.
There is a huge potential for mangoes in the traditional markets such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Central Asia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, Europe and Scandinavian states and non-traditional markets like South Africa, Japan, USA, Russia and Australia.
“The ban on Indian mango exports to Australia has opened new opportunities for Pakistan to expand its market there,” he added.
Pakistani mangoes are rich in fibre, low in calories and contain a small amount of carbohydrates, calcium, iron, potassium and a little protein, which are highly demanded in the European Union and other advanced nations.
Tawab emphasised the need for improving the processing process and value addition to mitigate the handling losses. “Value addition and application of state-of-the-art techniques to preserve them will help the country earn hefty foreign exchange.”
He also suggested that the government should organise mango shows in foreign countries that will lead to increase in exports and help explore new avenues.
Source: The Express Tribune