Pakistan is ready to export mangoes to the US this year - just 12 months after the country made its mango export debut in Europe, the Pakistani press report.
Pakistan's federal minister for food and agriculture Nazar Muhammad Gondal said all necessary procedural formalities, including logistic arrangements, have been finalised, ready for exports to the US to start in the forthcoming season.
Standard operating procedures for orchard and packhouse certification and registration of mango orchards, as well as harvesting and packing have been drawn up, he said. And the ministry of agriculture, together with the ministry of commerce and the Pakistani produce export board (PHDEC), would help local mango exporters prepare consignments in line with USDA/Aphis standards.
Mr Gondal said Pakistan's total mango exports are expected to reach US$3m by the end of next season.
Increased mango exports will directly benefit two million Pakistanis, increase revenues for business, generate employment and boost the economy, especially in southern Punjab and northern Sindh, The Express Tribune said.
Pakistan is in a position to export mangoes to the US thanks to work carried out by the US Agency for International Development (USAID), according to local press reports.
Over the last year, USAID helped Pakistani mango producers ship mangoes by sea to Europe. USAID was instrumental in introducing local farmers to GlobalGAP certification, training them in modern techniques, upgrading infrastructure and forging links with international buyers.
"Mango growers have demonstrated tremendous dedication and investment in the previous year, with the support of the ministry of food and agriculture and US government," Mr Gondal told The Express Tribune.
"Their success will encourage other farmers to attain international standards and certifications and compete in the international market."
Pakistan is the fifth largest producer and third largest exporter of mangoes in the world, according to www.thenews.com.pk.