KARACHI: Water scarcity and attack of different diseases have damaged 60 per cent mango crop of Punjab, making it difficult to meet this year’s export target of 150,000 tons.
Chairman All Pakistan Fruits and Vegetables Exporters and Importers Association, Waheed Ahmed, said shortage of water in Rahimyar Khan and Multan has adversely affected mango crop while outbreak of diseases has affected quality of the ‘king of fruit’.
He said total production of mangoes in the current season was expected to be 1.6 million tons, of which Sindh was likely to contribute 600,000 tons and Punjab one million tons.
Production of mangoes from Rahimyar Khan and Multan is likely to drop to 400,000 tons against expected output of one million tons. As a result, exports will fall short by 25 per cent against the target of 150,000 tons. “Water scarcity affected the sweetness and pulp of mango,” he added.
Ahmed also accused shipping companies of unfair treatment in dealing with Pakistani exporters. He said shipping companies demand heavy freight from exporters, adding last week a shipping company charged $1,000 instead of $500 per container and left six out of 10 containers at the port, causing losses of millions of rupees to the exporters.
He objected to the shifting of the horticulture development company office to Lahore, saying 95 per cent exporters are working in Karachi.
He asked the ports and shipping ministry to bring back the office to Karachi and cancel licences of shipping companies which charge high freight and leave containers.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2010.