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Plan afoot to avert ban on mango exports

Salman Siddiqui

Sunday, May 04, 2014
From Print Edition

HYDERABAD: Pakistan has devised a plan to avert a likely ban on export of its mangoes to the European Union (EU), which has earlier issued a warning to do so if the country does not take the measures to overcome the issue of existence of fruit flying into its fruit, a government official said on Saturday.

Earlier this year, the union has banned import of mangoes from India after encountering the bug, he said.

“We have devised a plan to avert a likely ban upon our export of mangoes to EU,”
Dr Mubarak, director general of Department of Plant Production (DPP), said while addressing the fruit growers, exporters and traders at a seminar.

The DPP and All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) organised the seminar on ‘Fruit Fly and Pest Free Mango Export to the World’ to bridge a gap between farmers and exporters, Waheed Ahmed, spokesman of the association, said.

Elaborating the plan, the director general said that his department was registering orchards of the fruits in Punjab and Sindh. “The first round of the registration in Punjab has been completed, while it has initiated the registration process of farms in Sindh from Saturday (May 3),” he said.

The registration is being followed by thorough examination of orchards and those farms where the fruit fly is not found will be exempted from hot water treatment – a treatment that kills the fly and its eggs in mangoes, Dr Mubarak said.

However, the treatment will be mandatory for the mangoes, which would have been grown at unregistered farms and destined for export to the Europe, he clarified.

The director general DPP said that India would try its best to get Pakistani mangoes banned in the EU after it was banned in the 28-nation bloc. The EU has also informed Pakistan that it will make hard examination of the fruit coming from the country.

With this background, the director general has urged provincial governments to take additional measures to fight against the fruit fly on a war footing. “The Chief Minister of Punjab has agreed to take such measures at full throttle like it had taken to do away with the dengue in the province about two years ago.”

The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan and the National Horticulture Board were also in close coordination with the DPP to make all possible effort to make Pakistani mango free from fruit fly and pest.

Ahmed said that growers would have to take long-term measures to produce bugs-free fruits and for this purpose his association was doing a lot of research and development in close coordination with agriculture universities in the country. “The universities will be provided well educated and trained workforce to improve condition for production and yield as well.”

On the occasion, a researcher Hadi Bux Leghari said that the fruit fly could be dealt at orchards by taking various measures, including crop hygiene and sanitation, by adopting male annihilation technology and bait application technique and by using bio-pesticides and insecticides.

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Carabao claims to be the sweetest mango in the world and was able to register this in the Guiness book of world records.
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