MULTAN: The annual mango festival has contributed really well to the country’s export sector as we witness an increase in mango exports, said Punjab Agriculture Minister Malik Nauman Ahmed Langrial.
He expressed his views while addressing an audience at the inauguration of the 4th annual Mango Festival 2019, organised by the Muhammad Nawaz Shareef University of Agriculture Multan (MNS-UAM), in collaboration with Multan Mango Research Institute and Pakistan Human Development Foundation.
More than 70 stalls were arranged by growers, the mango processing industry and exporters at the festival. Moreover, a ‘fun land’ for children, food street and entertainment programs were arranged for the three-day festival.
MNS-UAM Vice Chancellor Dr Asif Ali, Federal Republic of Nigeria High Commissioner Ashimiyu Adebaya Olaniyi, Republic of Indonesia High Commissioner Iwan Suyudhie Amri and other dignitaries accompanied the provincial minister for the inaugural ceremony.
“Mango is grown on about 412,500 acres of land in Pakistan with an annual production of 1.735m tons. Around 70% of mango production is contributed by Punjab and 200 varieties of mango are cultivated in Pakistan, including Dusehri, Sidhari, Langra, Ratool and Chaunsa.”
He added, “Mango is the second largest fruit produce of Pakistan after citrus. Almost every district of Punjab grows mangoes. Our mango is popular in Pakistan as well as global markets, particularly the Middle East, Britain and Europe due to its taste and aroma.”
The provincial minister further said that the Pakistani mango is the cheapest in international markets if compared to other countries. The minister praised the efforts of MNS-UAM for improving the production and export quality of regional mango and linking mango producers with international markets.
The minister emphasised that the participation of ambassadors from different countries and stakeholders from the public and private sector will contribute to an increase in the export of mangoes in the region.
The minister briefed that the government has started working on new plans for the improvement of agricultural production and profitably with higher exports which will contribute to poverty alleviation.
Muhammad Nawaz Shareef University of Engineering and Technology (MNS-UET) Multan Vice Chancellor Dr Amir Ijaz Malik said that the government is completely aware of the trade situation and we are searching new international markets for export of mangoes. “The taste of Pakistani mangoes is unique in the world. We are in a transformation stage from traditional to technological approaches for improving production practices, post-harvest measures and increased export of good quality fruit.”
The vice chancellor praised the efforts of MNS-UAM for their promotion of the country’s mangoes.
The MNS-UAM vice chancellor said that mango is the king of fruits and, according to an estimate; the fruit has about 4000-year long history in the Indian subcontinent.
He added, “These days about 149 Kalmi varieties and 1,000 Desi varieties of mangoes are cultivated in the world. Almost 25m tons of mangoes are produced in the world where countries such as Pakistan, India, Brazil, China, Nigeria, Mexico and Thailand are among the top 10 mango producers in the world.”
He further said, “The university is establishing new footings for mango production through the introduction of the High Density Mango Plantation (Small Tree System) in the region. About 1,300 plants per acre can be cultivated in this Small Tree System with export quality harvest.”
He briefed that the university has planted a model farm of mangoes for farmers. “Adoption of latest technology through Small Tree System will substantially increase mango production.”
The vice chancellor maintained that the mango festival is not only a gathering of mango growers, experts and exporters; it is also a source of information and entertainment for the local community in Multan. “Different entertainment programs have been arranged to create festivity for local residents in the warm city of Multan.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 6th, 2019.
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