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http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-3-249329-Farms-declared-eligible-to-export-mangoes-to-EU

Salman Siddiqui
Sunday, May 11, 2014
From Print Edition

KARACHI: The Pakistan Quarantine Department of Plant Protection (DPP) has so far declared only 15 farms of mangoes eligible to export the fruit to the Europe Union (EU) without hot water treatment, All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) reported on Saturday.

However, majority of the farms located in Sindh will still have to treat the fruit to kill flies, as the DPP has so far declared only one farm eligible in the province to export the fruit without the treatment to EU nations, Waheed Ahmed, spokesman of the association, said after attending a meeting summoned by the Ministry of National Food Security and Research in Islamabad the other day.

The export of the fruit is set to start from May 25, while Sindh is the first province in the country that picks mangoes. Punjab follows Sindh in picking and exporting mangoes, it was learnt.

The food secretary chaired the said meeting. Another participant of the meeting Seerat Asghar Joura said that the department had initially estimated to declare eligible about 100 farms for the export with the treatment.

Tariq Khan, deputy director of DPP, said that the process of the inspection and registration of farms had yet not been over in the country. “This may remain lasted till Punjab starts producing and exporting the fruit sometime in July,” he said.

Officials of the quarantine department, which is responsible to make sure exporting pest and fruit fly-free mangoes to the world, have visited 35 orchards in Sindh and 36 orchards in Punjab so far.

The department has approved only one farm in Sindh to export the fruit without hot water treatment, while other 34 could not export their fruit without giving the treatment, sources said.

While in Punjab, the department has approved 14 orchards, rejected three and asked remaining 19 orchards to improve their standards to export their fruit without the treatment, they said.

There are only four with the approved treatment plants. Durrani Associates own three of them. Babar Durrani of the associates said that his company was charging Rs20 per kilogramme for the treatment.

“The treatment helps exporter to earn up to 50 percent additional revenue against those who export their fruits without the treatment,” Durrani said.

He, who also attended the meeting, said that exporting pest- and fly-free mangoes to EU was a serious challenge instead of an opportunity. If the EU bans Pakistan like it banned Indian mangoes in April might result into halt of exports of the fruit to many other counties as well, he said.

Durrani said that the meeting resolved to export only quality fruit to EU. “All exporters at the meeting agreed to set their focus on quality instead of quantity to EU nations,” he said.

Ahmed of PFVA said that the ministry had also approved exporting mangoes into boxes of weight of two kilogrammes, three kg, four kg, and five kg, and banned export of the fruit in 1.5 kg of box.

“The box of 1.5 kg cannot accommodate big size mangoes, while there are always chances of fruit flies in small size mangoes,” he said.

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