Pakistani mango is likely to reach Australian market soon after the long diplomatic struggle, while an inspection team of the foreign country has reached here to inspect the standard and quality of the country’s fruit. The experts team of Australian Department of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, which reached Karachi on Sunday, visited the mango treatment, packaging plant and processing facilities of a local company here on Monday.
The inspection team led by Enricho of the department, inspected and audited entire facility of Iftikhar Ahmed and Company which, what the company’s head Waheed Ahmed claims, was as per the international standard. The foreign team was satisfied with the processing, packaging and treatment facilities in the company. During its stay for over 8 days in the country the team would visit other companies and their plants in Karachi, Multan and Lahore. The foreign country, after evaluation of the entire facility quarantine issues related to Pakistani mango, would approve the country’s fruit for imports.
This, what sources believe, will be another breakthrough after tapping the lucrative markets of Japan and Unites States of America. Though the export of mango to the said countries are yet to be started at commercial level, the entrance of Pakistani mango in the highly valued market after meeting their quality demands, would benefit both exporters and growers of the fruit in near future.
To tap the potential markets, the quarantine and standard issues were needed to be addressed through installing state of the art facilities, like Vapour Heat Treatment (VHT) plants, hot water treatment plants and other processing and packaging facilities.
The Australian inspection team was visiting Pakistan this year since the foreign country had announced the commencement of a non-regulated analysis of existing policy for import of mangoes from Pakistan in 2010. The negligence on the part of concerned authorities in the country was behind the delayed visit of the team as it, what sources claimed, was willing to start the inspection process in 2010.
It is worth mentioning here that through a letter Pakistani Counsel General in Australia had informed the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC) that it was important to ensure the visit of Australian team to the country latest by May or June 2010. Thanks to the concerned authorities who have arranged the visit after over two years as the foreign country had announced the development on March 17, 2010.
As Australia had allowed the imports of mango from Pakistan after realising that the issue of mango quarantine and pest issue was also the same in India, Taiwan and Philippine from where the foreign country has allowed the import of fruit. However, the foreign country wanted to remove the quarantine issue before starting the import from Pakistan. The visiting Australian team, according to sources, would also visit VHT plant in Karachi and Irradiation Plant in Lahore, besides the production areas and farms in Multan, Sadiqabad and Interior Sindh.
“If all goes well, and the team approves the standard by next month, the import from Pakistan could be started during this mango season,” Waheed, who is also co-chairman of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association, told Business Recorder.
According to him, the country’s fruits were largely not benefiting the national exchequer in terms of revenue mainly because of the lack of high capacity VHT plant and other safety parameters conforming to international standards of phyto-sanitary requirements in the country.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012
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