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Horticulturists urge govt to extend date of mango exports

Horticulturists urge govt to extend date of mango exports

ISLAMABAD: As the climatic change and the coronavirus lockdown have severely affected the mango crops and it is likely to get matured after a delay of two weeks, the exporters of horticulture products have requested the government to extend the date of exports to June 1, 2020.

In a letter to the Ministry of Commerce (MoC), the All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetables Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) has informed that the mango crops in Sindh and Punjab are likely to get matured after a delay of two weeks.

The season of mango slides further to a couple of weeks due to non-availability of required level of temperature and humid climate.

PFVA, keeping these factors in view, has requested the MoC to extend the date of mango exports by further 12 days, fixing it on 1st June 2020, the letter states.

According to the association, the climatic change has started taking a heavy toll of its devastating effects by impacting major agriculture crops besides fruits as well.

The mango crop usually gets mature by the middle of May, however it’s strongly anticipated to be delayed by two weeks this year and exporting premature mango would not be beneficial. On other hand due to the lockdowns adequate preparations have not yet been made related to mango exports as transportation for carrying labourers to the mango orchards and essential arrangements for packing still have a big question mark.

According to Waheed Ahmed of PFVA, MoC has fixed date of mango exports as 20th May for the current year, however due to the crops’ immaturity by this given date if the mango exports commence, it would badly hurt exports from Pakistan.

“Since the mango crop is still not ready for harvesting and if the export date 20th May is followed, the exporters would ship immature and unsuitable mango,” he added.

Pakistan in past had sustained huge financial losses last year due to the export of unsuitable mango. Exporting immature mango again would not only meet the expectations of the consumers, but also the country’s credibility would badly damage.

The exporters are likely to experience difficulties in getting fair price of mango in the international markets, the letter further stated.

“Under the current crises of the coronavirus when the country’s economy is under great stress, earning of much needed valuable foreign exchange through exports is vital to support the “hard pressed” economy and thus generation of foreign exchange through mango exports must be ensured,” the PFVA urges through letter.