KARACHI, Jan 16: Pakistan is targeting high yielding Japanese mango market for commercial exports.

It is undertaking a number of steps, including installation of a vapour heat treatment plant to meet quarantine test as defined in the agreement between Japan and Pakistan.

After the lifting of import han on mango from Pakistan by the Japanese government early last year, the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDA) worked intensively to go for experimental mango export to Japan using existing testing machine of vapour heat treatment of 60kg capacity donated by JICA in 1998.The TDAP managed to successfully ship around 1,800kgs of mango last season to the Japanese market after processing the consignments through vapour heat treatment test plant situated near Jinnah International Airport, Karachi.

Japan annually imports around 11,000 to 12,000 tons mango from various countries, like Mexico,Thailand, Philippine, Brazil,Taiwan and the demand had steadily been growing for not only fresh mango but also in juice, ice cream and as ingredient of cakes which are more popular among youth.

Pakistan grows one of the best quality mangoes in the world and historically is the largest mango producing country of the world.

On average 1.7 to two million tons are annually produced in Pakistan. Of which 135,000 tons or around eight per cent of fresh mango is exported to many countries.

The TDAP, after failing to enter into any arrangement with three bidders for setting up of VHT plant for commercial export of mangoto Japan last year on public-private partnership basis, is now working on fast track to reinvite bids for the plant.

TDAP Secretary Javed Anwar Khan told Dawn that all-out efforts were being made to complete the process of selection for installation of VHT plant on public-private partnership basis before the start of next mango season in June-september.

He further said that the TDAP had started looking for a suitable location in Karachi for acquiring land for the project and hoped that it would be selected by the middle of next month.

Similarly, he said that the TDAP had finalized new set of documents and would re-tender the same for ensuring complete transparency in the bidding and agreement with any private party on PPP basis.

Responding to a question, Javed Anwar Khan said that even if TDAP fails to meet the deadline and is unable to catch up with the coming mango season, Pakistan can still continue mango exports to Japan by using the VHT plant installed in Karachi and tested during trial mango export to Japan in last mango season.

He was, however, sure that the TDAP would manage to catch up with new mango season of 2012 because experience achieved from previous tender could help to save time.

Giving details of the previous tender for VHT, he said three bids were received but all were declared 'non-responsive' because all the three declared their questions only while the TDAP bidding documents sought separate technical and financial proposals from the prospective bidders. Since all the three failed to do so, the bids were found to be against the PPRA rules 2004.

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