Despite having secured access ten years ago, Pakistan has expressed frustration about its failure to grow mango exports to the US.
According to a report from The Express Tribune, Ahmad Jawad, former chairman of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)’s Standing Committee on Agriculture, said exporters had not made the most of Pakistan’s access.
According to Jawad, the lack of approved irradiation facilities in Pakistan was a major hurdle. Exporters with in-country irradiation, such as India, had a major advantage as they did not have to ship their product to the US for treatment.
Jawad said Pakistan had to support the cost of having USDA inspectors stationed in Pakistan to inspect irradiated mango shipments, otherwise exporters would be stuck with the current, cost-prohibitive method.
“What makes export virtually impossible is the fact that mangoes have to be irradiated at US facilities, which involves booking and trucking of cargo to a particular facility, completing the irradiation process and taking it back to the market,” Jawad said.
Mahmood Nawaz Shah, senior vice president of grower advocacy organisation Sindh Abadgar Board (SAB), told The Express Tribune the lack of ambition extended to the development of other markets as well.
“The tragedy with horticulture export, particularly with mango, is that it has not been able to penetrate non-ethnic markets and supermarkets of North America and Europe that are potentially best export points and can fetch significant foreign exchange,” said Shah.