Mango output this year may cross 1.8 million tonnes after remaining below this mark for last two years, growers and officials of provincial agriculture departments say. Officials of the Pakistani Trade Development Authority project that exports should rise to 160,000 tonnes, from 140,000 tonnes last year.
Their optimism springs up from increased demand in the Europe and the Middle East, recent opening up of Australian market and hopes for reaching out to South Asia and New Zealand. Officials of Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company say an investment of about Rs1bn made by the private sector in mango processing facilities over the last two years will give export a real boost.
They say Punjab is expected to produce 1.4 million tonnes of mangoes and Sindh 4.1 million tonnes while a few thousand tonnes should also come from KP, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Balochistan.
In recent years, a couple of fruit export companies have initiated joint ventures with mango and kinnow growers to ensure constant supply of quality fruits at the peak of the season. “Unlike ‘investor-grower’ duo it’s more formal and reduces the role of middlemen, who themselves are investors or find ones on behalf of growers,” says an official of PHDEC. “Now to take this one step further, PHDEC (that comes under the Ministry of Commerce) has signed a joint venture with Durrani Associates, a fruit export company, to give a boost to exports in a big way.”
It is through this joint venture that a deal was finalised, late last year, to export 15,000 tonnes of mangoes to Australia. Those involved in this deal say that they hope to begin mango exports to New Zealand and South Africa as well this year. A dozen fruit exporters plan to export more mangoes to European countries after getting clues in Fruit Logistica held in Berlin in February about increasing demand for Pakistani mangoes.
“Recent investment of a billion rupees in mango processing technology has also been crucial in helping exporters to diversify export destinations,” says an official of PHDEC which partnered progress in some of these projects. The most recent example is import of a mango processing plant worth Rs200 million which has raised the number of such plants to three, owned by just one single company.
Part of the estimated Rs1 billion-investment in technology has been made by food companies involved in production of branded mango juices. These companies not only sell one-litre juice packets in the local market but also export them mainly to Afghanistan and the Middle Eastern countries.
The USAID says it has spent $25 million to improve mango economics. It is working with SMEs to help control mango-diseases and set up additional cold storages and hygienic packaging facilities. It has also provided technical assistance for developing market linkages, capacity building and acquisition of international certificates required for exports.
Published on: 04/14/2014