Dynamics of Potential Mango Value Chain in Pakistan: Benefits for Exploring New Markets
By News Desk
On 17th June 2021 an online conference on the topic, “Dynamics of Potential Mango Value Chain in Pakistan: Benefits for Exploring New Markets”, was jointly organized by Center for Global & Strategic Studies (CGSS) , Islamabad, Muhammad Nawaz Shareef (MNS) University of Agriculture, Multan and Mango Research Institute, Multan.
The aim of the conference was to explore new potential markets for mango trade between Pakistan and various countries. Furthermore, the trading purpose envisaged discovering new overtures such as; post-harvest mango technology, enhancing Pakistan’s mango trade and production, to understand emerging trade-market trends in Central Asia, Asia Pacific and beyond. Various experts were invited to suggest policy guidelines to enhance trade linkages and curtail market-business challenges regarding the mango supply chain.
Syed Fakher Imam, Federal Minister for Food Security & Research, Government of Pakistan was the Chief Guest of the Conference. He stated that the agro-economy of Pakistan has always had a strategic outlook. From five of our crops; maize, rice and sugarcane have done extremely well. The Mango industry has 66% of mangoes grown in Punjab. He explained that there are four different types of treatments by application of which we can reach the high-end markets from the low-end ones. Most of our mangoes go to 42 countries which can now be outreached to 60 countries. Hence, an overall improvement is required to upgrade our major mango production clusters. Therefore, DNA –tested mango varieties should be cultivated in the country as the new scientific method, new packaging methods, new organic cultivation procedures-pest and fertilizer free zones. This would enable Pakistan to meet the health standards of the high-end and sophisticated markets, specifically the Chinese markets. For this purpose, Pakistan has inherent research systems for grafted mangoes, thus, implying new research vistas, to cope with trade challenges.
Syed Hussain Jahania Gardezi, Provincial Minister for Agriculture Punjab, Government of Pakistan was the Guest of Honour of the Conference. He stated that in a country like Pakistan, with various types of weathers and soil types, mango is our national fruit grown along with different fruits. Mango has relevancy with old traditions of gift exchanges which have now become popular in the corporate sectors. According to him, Pakistan is the fourth-largest producer of mangoes i.e. 1.8 million tons. But, now with evolving trade mechanisms, Pakistan needs to grow its preservation and canning industries, whereas, procedures should be met with international hygiene standards. He stated that the mango growers should practice healthier mango cultivation with pure organic methods to facilitate chemical-free production. Furthermore, the value chains should become modern and technological advanced to add sustainability to mango shell life. He shared the Government’s mission that by applying high-tech improvements Pakistan should reach one billion dollar revenue in the international markets.
Prof. Dr. Asif Ali, Vice-Chancellor, MNS University of Agriculture, Multan stated that positive efforts are in progress to upgrade mango exports. But, facilitation and efficiency are the two requisites to improve trade. Furthermore, more mango festivals should be upheld to raise the commercial value of Pakistani mangoes. He shared his experiencing of the mango production sessions and emphasized that marketing should be the future focus to facilitate growers and exporters. Furthermore, new methods like dry mango production, mango breeding, DNA testing and relevant should become pre-requisites of our trade chains and future endeavours.
Maj. Tariq Khan, Progressive Mango Growers Association, (Lutfabad Mango Farms Multan) delivered his speech on the topic, “Mango production: Current Trends and Future Prospects”. He stated that Pakistan has been wanting to add value to the mangoes for a long. Hence, opting for the export. But, due to climate change, mango production is being impacted. Last year due to COVID Pakistani exporters faced a regression due to restriction of land and sea routes, whereas air transport too became restricted. He added that the safest mango products are exported from Pakistan. Yet, our biggest market is the United Kingdom. Nowadays as we are pitching new tariff regimes our mangoes are being exported in Central Asian countries and beyond. He mentioned new potential markets stating that Iran is one of our potential markets. Furthermore, our academia is now strong enough to increase the mango shell life to cope up with the sea routes distances.
Prof. Dr Amanullah Malik Group Leader, Postharvest Research and Training Center, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad stated that over a dozen varieties of mangoes in Pakistan, Sindhri, Sammar Bahisht Chaunsa and Sufaid Chaunsa are the most popular ones. Dr. Amanullah talked about the postharvest supply chain challenges. Some major challenges include; maturity assessment, sap management, phytosanitary treatments for market access, packaging and limited shelf life. According to him, quality consciousness should be the focus of mango production in the grower cluster markets. Therefore, some projects like the Code of Practices were operationalized to meet international standards and build production infrastructure. Furthermore, domestic level staff training should be adopted to reform basic level practices with the adoption of essential standard operating procedures (SOPs), aided with advanced scientific procedures to kill pesticides and residues. Some of his suggestions included; modern on-farm infrastructure, 1-MCP technology, PurFresh and R & D support for capacity building of mangoes production.
Mr. Waheed Ahmad, Leading fruit exporter and President of the Pakistan Fruit Exporters Association spoke on the topic, “Mango Export from Pakistan: Opportunities & Challenges.” According to him All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers & Merchants Association (PFVA) aims to achieve the horticulture vision by 2030. This includes; offering the premium price of 50% for value product, a ban on wooden crates etc. Pakistan now is the leading country to export mango varieties. The country is 6th in mango production and 5th in global export. The reason for so is that 90% of exports are focused on few countries. He added that the best export opportunity for Pakistan is the month of July and August where USA, Japan, China, South Korea and Australia can best be new potential markets. He focused that Pakistan should specifically facilitate the demand of China to import good-tasting mangoes post-June yearly. Furthermore, value addition, whole sailing, processing, marketing should have revised policies and mechanisms. His speech covered challenges i.e. mango production and export volume gap, climate changes, poor harvesting, untrained labour, absence of food chain and yield gaps-in which Pakistan stands in 19th position.
Mr. Khalid Taimur Akram, Executive Director, CGSS spoke on “Importance of International Mango Trade.” According to him, Mangoes being Pakistan’s second-largest fruit export after citrus fruits, mangoes are majorly grown in two provinces of Punjab in 54,000 hectares and Sindh 46,000 lands. He stated that the year 2020 noted a decline of almost 35 to 40 mango exports due to the closure of land trade routes and other restrictions. The best records are known to have earned over $90 million via mango exports for the country. Furthermore, while suggesting robust trade mechanisms, Mr. Khalid added that we need to cope up with the post-pandemic challenges, so that timely mechanisms and opportunities would regulate the normalcy in the foreign trading platforms. Hence, cooperation and collaboration in scientific, as well as academic domains are essential to sustain Pakistan’s trade and progressive graph in future.
The Conference was attended by the diplomats from various countries including Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Canada, China, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Oman Russia, Tajikistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. The session was moderated by Dr. Mubashir Mehdi, Assistant Professor Institute of Business Management Sciences, University of Agriculture Faisalabad and was attended by 100 participants on Zoom and 150 people from across the world watched the Conference live on Facebook.