Pakistan set to miss mango export target
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The Department of Plant Protection (DPP) has developed a poor strategy which has rendered mango exports impossible due to a 20 percent drop in production.

The Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) announced on Thursday that the DPP on June 12 mandated mandatory hot water treatment of mangoes from approved plants only.

“As a result of this discriminatory policy and favouritism of the DPP, 90 percent of the 35 plants were shut down, resulting in a loss of $44 million.

Due to the closure of these plants, approximately 2,500 labourers (skilled and unskilled) have lost their jobs, while 6,000 workers working with growers have also been adversely affected.

The association has alerted the Ministry of National Food Security to the discriminatory policy and favoritism of the DPP, which permits blue-eyed treatment plants under the guise of new standard operating procedures while shutting down modern HWT facilities.

DPP is refusing to issue NOCs to the plants because of minor objections that have nothing to do with the plant’s basic functions, the association alleged, adding that the non-approved HWT plants have been processing mangoes for export to Europe, Iran, Australia, China, Kenya and Iraq for many years without receiving complaints from their buyers.

There is concern that the treatment of mangoes exported from Pakistan could be adversely affected as 90 percent of the hot water treatment plants have been shut down.

Non-approval of hot water treatment plants was benefiting certain elements, which should be taken into account, and action should be taken against officials causing harm to the national trade.

The chairman of the PFVA said exporters had confirmed orders for mangoes from a variety of countries. As a result of the non-operationality of HWT plants by the DPP, India would take advantage of the situation and take advantage of the confirmed orders and capture these international markets in the future.

A drop in production to 1.44m tonnes from 1.8m tonnes last year was predicted by PFVA Patron-in-Chief Waheed Ahmed before mango exports began in the third week of May.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa produces 1pc of mango, while Punjab produces 70pc. Mangoes are exported from Pakistan by sea 50 percent of the time, by land 35 percent of the time, and by air 15 percent of the time.