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HYDERABAD: Women labourers pack raw mangoes in wooden boxes at Fruit Mandi on Thursday. The country’s mango production is likely to fall after hailstroms and rains lashed out Punjab and Sindh in April.—APP
HYDERABAD: Women labourers pack raw mangoes in wooden boxes at Fruit Mandi on Thursday. The country’s mango production is likely to fall after hailstroms and rains lashed out Punjab and Sindh in April.—APP

KARACHI: Country’s overall mango production is feared to have come down to 1.2 million tonnes this year from 1.8m tonnes last year owing to heavy rains and hailstorms that damaged mango crop in Sindh by 10 per cent and 35pc in Punjab.

Amid a bad crop, stakeholders have fixed a export target of 100,000 tonnes for this year which is the same as 2018.

Mango exports will kick off from May 20, 2019. Last year, Pakistan exported 75,000 tonnes against the target of 100,000 tonnes.

Patron-in-Chief of All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable, Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) Waheed Ahmed said, “We are expecting to fetch $80m foreign exchange this year with an anticipated export of 100,000 tonnes.”

To achieve the export target, it’s imperative that besides favourable season, exporters are extended support and co-operation from shipping and airline companies, quarantine department, Anti-Narcotic Force, Customs and other related departments.

With increase in prices of petroleum products, the cost of domestic transportation and logistics have also been revised upward, while freight charges have also been raised by airlines and shipping companies making it further difficult for the exporters to remain competitive in the international markets, he said.

China and the USA, in particular, would be focus of attention for an additional export volume during this year while special mango promotions campaigns have been planned in EU countries, he added.

Export of mango by sea route holds 70pc share in total exports while land and air routes enjoy 15pc share each.

The PVFA chief says climate changes have emerged as the biggest challenge for agriculture products and horticulture. Around 30pc reduction in mango production in current season reinforces our concern about serious potential threat of the climatic changes. “So far no clear and well defined policy has been developed by the government to safeguard agriculture and horticulture sectors from this severe threat.”

Published in Dawn, May 10th, 2019