HYDERABAD: Sindh producers have so far exported 125,000 tonnes of mango to Europe, UK and Saudi Arabia. They are hopeful for better export prospects this season which would close by July 20.

Progressive growers like Ghulam Sarwar Abro and Junaid Hyder Shah believed that improved farm practices had helped them create their space in European markets where their mangoes are being liked.

Junaid Hyder Shah of Sindh Mango Growers and Exporters (SMGE) from Tando Allahyar, a lower Sindh region district, said our foreign customers’ base is widening as exporters are meeting basic requirement of hot water treatment. In 2014 they had exported 60,000 tonnes of mango and 0.1m tonnes in 2015.

Half a dozen Sindh’s mango producers are GAP (Good Agriculture Practices) certified farmers and managing their farms on their own to make inroads in foreign markets.

A delegation of Chinese quarantine officials had visited their farms along with Pakistan’s Department of Plant Protection in June’s first week to examine farm’s conditions and VHT process. However, outcome of their visit’s findings could not be known.

According to Sarwar Abro, 45 air shipments reached UK and four for Saudi Arabia successfully this season and two containers sent by sea to UK also would reach by July 17.

Amidst mango growers’ worries, Sindh produced famous ‘Sindhri’ variety of mango with 20-30 percent decline in production owing to climate change factor. Sindhri exports are now almost closed due to production shortfall.

Abro said that 60pc of labourers are allowed Eid celebrations leave while 40pc are still working on farms to meet export demands. Exporters are focusing high end super markets where our fruit has gained acceptability among customers, he said.

Chairman, Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA), Waheed Ahmed said exports had improved this season despite decline in Sindhri’s production. Pakistani mango’s freight on board (FoB) would be around $550- $800 per tonne, he anticipated.

Japan’s market could not be won because vapour heat treatment (VHT) plant’s condition had not been made functional by Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), he said adding exports had increased by 16pc in June as compared to corresponding period of last year.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2016

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