ISLAMABAD: The Australian Department of Water, Agriculture and Environment has approved two mango processing facilities of Pakistan for exports to Australia.
This is in addition to two existing facilities, Consul General of Pakistan in Sydney Muhammad Ashraf said in a Whatsapp message to Dawn on Tuesday.
Two mango treatment facilities in Sindh — Mustafa Agriculture Farm, Kotri, and Iftekhar Ahmed & Co, New Sabzi Mandi, Karachi — have been approved by Australian authorities for export of mangoes from Pakistan.
Taking to Twitter, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood said the approval of the facility has been done just in time for the mango season. “I congratulate the two companies of this achievement and commend the facilitation provided by our consul general (Trade) at Sydney in this regard”, he said.
Mr Ashraf stated that the fresh mangoes from Pakistan are permitted for import into Australia subject to the condition the mangoes must undergo pre-export hot water dipping treatment (HWDT) or irradiation treatment in one of the approved facilities.
So far, only two facilities — Horti Fresh and Paras Foods — were approved for import into Australia. Pakistan had filed the request for approval of three more facilities around five years ago. After concerted efforts during last year, “we are able to get two facilities approved,” he said. “We hope to have one more approved in the coming weeks.”
PFVA sets 150,000 tonnes export target for this year
The approvals will be reflected in Australia’s biosecurity import conditions database very shortly.
Pakistan’s mango exports to Australia increased from 2 tonnes in 2013 to 79 tonnes in 2019.
With the approval of these new facilities, a considerable increase in exports is expected during the upcoming season, Mr Ashraf hoped.
Meanwhile, All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) has fixed mango export target at 150,000 tonnes for the current season which will likely fetch $127.5 million in foreign exchange.
Last year, the export target was set at 80,000 tonnes due to Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent logistics challenges.
Special mango flights
As mango exports are set to start from Wednesday, exporters have demanded the PIA management to arrange special cargo flights for shipping their consignments to the European Union and North America so that their export targets are met easily.
They demand that the national flag carrier should make special arrangements for shipping mango consignments to EU and North America where the fruit is in high demand because of its unique taste.
Published in Dawn, May 26th, 2021