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KARACHI: Almost 70 per cent of mangoes in Punjab have been damaged by the adverse climate, causing shortage of the fruit in the local market, besides pushing up its rates.

The damage to Punjab crop has also risked meeting export target of 0.1 million tonnes for this season.

Waheed Ahmed, Chairman, Research and Development, Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA), said in a statement on Saturday that the country had so far exported 41,000 tonnes of mango worth $22.55 million mainly to the United Arab Emirates, central Asian states, 28-nation European Union, Australia, the United States and Canada.

Pakistani mango is being sold at an increased price in the international market because of its better quality and high demand in Ramazan.

He said exporters were selling mango at an average price of $550 per tonne as compared to $300 per tonne last year.

Despite good demand and better price in the international market, the target was difficult to be met this year due to damages to the crop, he said.

Pakistani horticultural sector has become most vulnerable to global warming and other climatic changes.

To effectively deal with the growing situation for horticultural products, the government is needed to take steps on an emergency basis.

The prevailing situation, he said, is feared to pose irreparable damage to the agricultural sector, ultimately creating a threat to national food security.

He said hot weather, apparently due to global warming, was alarming for agriculturists and agriculture traders. The unusual cold weather in winter season also poses threat to various crops.

According to him, growers, traders and exporters of mango may face huge losses this year.

Waheed urged the government to take measures to minimise losses to the agricultural sector.

Published in Dawn, July 5th, 2015

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