Multan gears up for International Mango Festival

Deputy commissioner says move aimed to boost export of mangoes

Owais Qarni June 10, 2017

MULTAN: Mangoes grown in Multan are rich in fibre, low in calories and contain a small amount of carbohydrates, calcium, iron, potassium and a little protein, which are highly demanded in the European Union and other advanced nations. Though, these mangoes are recognised as one of the best in the world, Multan has been unable to take the lead from other districts of South Punjab in producing high quality mangoes for export.

Therefore, in a bid to attract international buyers to export mangoes from Multan, the city district administration has planned to hold a seven-day International Mango Festival in the first week of July. Ambassadors from western and eastern countries and international and domestic food companies would be invited to participate in the event.

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While speaking to The Express Tribune, Multan Deputy Commissioner Nadir Chatha said, “The International Mango Festival would attract space in the international market because the mangoes grown in Multan are unique in taste and variety.”

He added, “The first week of July has been fixed for the mango festival and preparations for the event have been started. A 10-member committee has been constituted to organise the event.”

The deputy commissioner maintained that Multan’s mangoes were in great demand in the international market. “The key objective to hold the mango festival is to attract international buyers for the export of mangoes from Multan to the rest of the world.”

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He pointed out different contests, including a mango eating competition, which would be held during the festival.

Meanwhile, mango experts told The Express Tribune that more than 10,000 tonnes of mangoes were exported from Multan during the last couple of seasons. They said with more support from the government, mango export could achieve new targets.

They claimed that if the government had o an appropriate mango export policy and the ministry of food and agriculture paid special care to the orchards, mango yield could earn billions of revenue from exports. However, they lamented the government had been too negligent in this sector.

They opined that simply by starting more direct cargo flights from Multan airport to the exporting countries, mango exports could be increased to 20,000 tonnes.

The experts were of the view that South Punjab could yield much higher mango production with the government’s support. They said the government should build storage houses and make the supply chain more user-friendly.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 10th, 2017.


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