KARACHI: Federal Minister National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan has said that his ministry wants to see Pakistan at the top position among the leading mango exporting countries.
“The coordination between the private sector and government departments in maintaining quality control throughout this mango season has produced exceptional results. We have to continue this coordination in the future,” he said.
“We all have learnt a lot especially in handling challenges that emerged after the strict warnings of the European Union (EU) on quality control issues. After acknowledging this year’s success, we now need to plan for next year,” he added.
He said this while talking to exporters, growers, experts and government officials on Monday night who gathered at the award distributing ceremony of mango exporters. Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) and Department of Plant Protection (DPP) arranged the ceremony.
He said that Pakistan can sharply increase its agriculture exports if government departments and private sector continue to work together.
Speaking on the occasion, DPP DG Dr Mubarak Ahmed said the government departments were very pleased to see the swift response from the private sector.
After putting a complete ban on Indian mangoes in May 1, 2014, the EU had given a tough warning to Pakistan on the presence of fruit flies and other diseases in its fruits and vegetables.
Upon receiving this stern warning, DPP and PFVA finalised the strictest-ever standard operating procedures (SOP) for all mango exporters who wanted to export to the EU.
Overall, the government efforts worked well for the industry and the country though it has resulted in a sharp decline in this year’s mango exports.
Pakistan exports around 25,000 tons of mangoes to the EU every year, but this year it settled at 4,600 tons or just 18.4% of its annual exports to European markets.
PFVA Co Chairman Waheed Ahmed said mango exporters have learnt some hard lessons this year. “But we cannot stop here because we all know that it is just the start of the journey,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2014.