KARACHI: The All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) has set the mango export target of 100,000 tonnes for the current season.
The exports will begin from May 20, 2017.
Last year, the mango export target was set at 100,000 tonnes but Pakistan shipped 128,000 tonnes, fetching $68 million.
Patron-in-Chief PFVA Waheed Ahmed said that during the current season, mango crop sustained huge losses due to bad weather and the export target was cautiously fixed at 100,000 tonnes.
Due to prolonged winter season, hail storms and strong winds in Punjab, the collective production of mangoes may decline by 600,000 tonnes from total estimated production of 1.8 million tonnes, he said.
Punjab shares 67 per cent of the total production of mangoes in Pakistan.
The PFVA office bearer claimed that due to severe weather conditions, about 50pc of the crop has been badly affected. However, the true extent of damage can only be ascertained by June when the crop would arrive, he added.
Pakistan exports mangoes to 50 countries in the world. During the current season, special attention would be focused to China, USA and South Korea.
China can emerge as a big market where special events could be organised – with the assistance of the government – in terms of advertising and marketing of the Pakistani mango, he suggested.
He said exporters would try to enhance mango exports to European countries. Last year export value of mango hovered between $680-700 per tonne. During the current season this value would be $650 per tonne, he added.
Mr Waheed said climatic changes are big challenge for the entire agriculture sector including the horticulture sector.
By using appropriate technology exporters can find solutions, he said.
He urged the Punjab and Sindh governments to reserve funds in the forthcoming budget to counter hail storm by use of technology so that likely financial losses, running in billion of rupees, can be averted.
He urged the government to fulfill its firm commitment of cost reduction by extending seven per cent financial assistance on exports of fruits and vegetables in the forthcoming budget.
Also enforcement of one per cent withholding tax on FOB price instead of C& F value since freight cost is much higher than actual cost of fruits and vegetables, he stressed.
Foreign carriers are charging freight cost of $1.26 per kg from Mumbai to London where as $1.70 per kg is being charged for Karachi to London which would make it difficult for Pakistani mango to compete in the world market, he said.
Published in Dawn, May 20th, 2017