Australia has granted market access for mangoes from Pakistan after substantial lobbying efforts by the country’s mango exporters.
An audit team from Australia’s Federal Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) had conducted visits to Pakistan over the past two to three years to examine the country’s quality standards and the safety of allowing entry for mangoes.
DAFF officials were last in Pakistan for this purpose in the first week of July this year.
A hot water treatment technology, which reportedly ensures that mango pulp is free from nine varieties of bacteria and can keep mangoes fresh for up to 42 days, is believed by some industry insiders to be behind the DAFF’s decision to approve Pakistani mango exports.
Australia is a major producer of mangoes for the domestic market, its season does not begin until November, which chief executive officer of Harvest Tradings, Ahmad Jawad, believes heralds a great opportunity for Pakistani exporters.
While this new market access presents exciting news for the industry, Pakistan’s mango exporters will not be able to export significant volumes this year as Australia’s approval has come just as the mango season is ending.
However, industry insiders estimate that, for future years, the Australian market’s capacity for Pakistani mangoes is approximately 5,000 tonnes.
“The Australian market is regarded as very rewarding and allowing import of any fruit from across the globe spells a bright future for the growers and exporters alike,” said Malik Farooq Azam, business development manager at Harvest Tradings.
Pakistan’s mango production for 2013 is estimated at 1.8m tonnes, which n export target 175,000 tonnes. However, up to 40 per cent of the produce is thought to go to waste due to insufficient storage facilities.