Pakistan’s mangoes struggle to find market in US

FPCCI official says country needs facilities to improve quality


Ppi July 07, 2017
A man selling Pakistani mangoes. PHOTO: REUTERS

KARACHI: Despite getting approval for zero duty under the generalised system of preferences (GSP) six years ago, Pakistani mangoes have failed to create a market share in the United States, a country that spends $0.5 billion on fruit imports.

This was stated by Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) Regional Chairman on Horticulture Exports Committee Ahmad Jawad who blamed the lack of facilities in Pakistan as the reason behind the trend.

“Exporters still complain that the process of exporting mangoes to the US is lengthy and costly,” he said, adding that high freight charges estimated at Rs370 per kilogramme are a major obstacle.

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“The main obstacle is that mangoes have to be irradiated at US facilities, which involves booking and trucking the cargo to a particular facility, completing the irradiation process and taking it back to the market.

“Each step costs money and delays at any stage threaten the entire consignment’s quality and sale prospects. In all, according to exporters, each kilogramme costs around $8 before it can be sold to consumers,” Jawad lamented, adding that this price, even without adding growing and cultivating cost of mangoes to it, is unaffordable for the majority of American consumers.

“The only option is to get local irradiation facilities approved by the US as has been the case with South Korea,” Jawad said, while asking for a similar system for exporting mangoes to the US.

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Currently, mangoes destined for South Korea are irradiated at a plant near Lahore where Korean government representative monitors the entire process before clearing the consignment. While the exporter pays for the cost of the visit, the total cost is still half of that for the US.

In fact, that was the original plan: a modern irradiation facility was to be set up by Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission in Lahore with a name of Paras Foods. However, the Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC) leading the initiative was rendered virtually dormant since agriculture portfolio was devolved to the provinces.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2017.

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COMMENTS (3)

ZULFIKAR | 3 years ago | Reply above is not Fact at All Freight Cost is about Rs 280/= per kilo & South Korea mangoes are Irradiated at Lahore its being Done Hot Water treatments like EU Yes Korean Inspector do Pre clearness at Hot Water Facility which should be Approved by DPP of Pakistan So 2 points are Not correct Lastly USA market access is very Difficult because of Distance market & Even India has 2 approved Irradiation Facility but Struggling on USA market Export even tough Indian Ethnic Population is almost 6 Times more than Pakistani Pakistani Population at USA is roughly Between 700,000 to 800,000 but strong Purchase Power than any immigrant at USA also India is struggling to Export Mangoes to South Korea they able to do hardly 70 to 80 tons export in year 2017 whereas as their Prospects shown where 2000 tons Bottom Line Even Pakistan will have Own Irradiation Plant we will have slightly Improvements on Exports to USA Market our Company is leading on Export to USA market & This year we set to export almost 60 to 70 tons which will improvement on Quality as Quantity We are selling USA Nation Wide through Southwest Cargo to pick up & Now Ratio of Success is showing 100% we are working on Improvements on Courier Deliver
Electric | 3 years ago | Reply Desies have found alternative to Pak mangoes in North America. They have started to eat Mexican or Jamaican mangoes. They are much cheaper. Of course, they are not at par with the quality and flavor of Pak mangoes but something is better than nothing.
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