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New markets explored for mango export

08 May, 2006

The Pakistan Horticulture Development Board (PHDEB) has explored new markets for the export of mango this season. These markets are destined to give a big boost to mango exports and create new record as has been achieved in the case of Kinnow.

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Encouraged by these developments, an export target of 100 thousand tonnes worth $40 million for mango has been fixed for the coming crop (2005) by PHDEB. Pakistan is the fifth largest producer and third largest exporter of mango in the world. Its soil and climatic conditions enable production and market supplies of good quality fresh mango over a period of five to six months.

According to the Mango export marketing plan 2005 drawn up by PHDEB, production of mango during the season is anticipated at 1.20 million tonnes. The existing main markets where the 2004 crop was exported were: UAE 33,604 tonnes, Saudi Arabia 13,224 tonnes, Oman 9,245 tonnes, UK 8,052 tonnes, and Kuwait 2,568 tonnes.

The new markets, which have been explored, are: China, Iran, South Africa, Australia, Russian Federation, and CIS/East Europe.

The plan highlights that although the climate change with untimely rains had affected the production of mangoes, the feedback from growers' showed that it had minimal effect of the overall mango production.

Signing of protocols with China and Iran has made possible access to new markets. The positive aspects of these markets are that they are located in the vicinity of Pakistan. Secondly, the product will be exported duty-free which will provide Pakistan the competitive edge over the competitors.

On the other hand, although there is a huge market to capitalise this potential, the exporters will have to comply with their quarantine requirements, which means adapting quality standards throughout the value chain ie pre-harvest and post harvest requirements.

The plan says that besides looking at the demand potential of mangoes it is important to evaluate the required infrastructure to support the demand. Presently, only one unit has been registered with the Chinese quarantine department, which is allowed to process and export to China. Two are in process of being registered and hope to attain the standard this season.

In PHDEB's opinion there is need for two pronged marketing strategies, entering into new markets which have high potential irrespective of strict standards as enunciated by China, Iran and South Africa, and strengthening the existing markets with high potential such as existing in Malaysia, Hong Kong, UK, and France.

In 2004, a Pakistani delegation visited Beijing and Shanghai and met with leading fresh fruit trading and importing companies. It also organised a promotional display of mango in one of the leading stores of Beijing-Parkson Super Store, which served as a test of the market and consumer behaviour.

It was noticed that there was huge potential, which depended upon certain critical factors. One of the key factors is the price, which is mainly dependent upon mode of transportation ie whether we are able to export through land or through sea. Secondly, required infrastructure ie production capacity with appropriate technology (registered processing units) to support increasing demand.

In order to be able to export to China following interventions are needed:

Experiment to increase shell life: In collaboration with University of Faisalabad (UAF) research should be carried out to enhance shell life of mangoes. This would entail post harvest activities picking, processing, including washing/waxing, hot water dip, cold chamber experimentation to check different temperature regimes, etc. Besides, in collaboration with Pakistan Radiation Services (PARAS) and UAF experiment should be undertaken on irradiated mangoes. Increase number of registered units thus increasing production capacity for exports, trial shipment through sea, contact management, pre-shipment inspection, and marketing delegation's visit to China.

In the case of Iran also almost same requirements are considered necessary. The signing of the protocol has provided Pakistan for the first time access to Iranian market with a population of about 60 million.

FAR EAST: Pakistan's share in the Far East market is only 0.7 percent of the total exports, which is considered negligible, as compared to the total mango, trade in the region. Besides, the quarantine requirements are not strict and, therefore, the plan has suggested enhancing exports through marketing efforts. The countries to be targeted are: Malaysia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

EUROPE: Although Europe has strict quarantine requirements adhering to high quality standards, still 14.8 percent of the total exports from Pakistan goes to EU. Asian communities mainly consume the mangoes from Pakistan, which are sold at small shops and markets. Main retailing is done through super stores that hold major market share. For that Pakistan has to adopt EUREPGAP (long term strategy). The immediate strategy is to strengthen existing market niche through better packaging and marketing efforts and access to availability of cargo space.

SOUTH AFRICA: South Africa is a mango growing country but due to its location in the southern hemisphere there is a contra-seasonality with Pakistan's harvesting period. Undoubtedly, huge potential existed for the export of mangoes to South Africa. It is important to initiate the process of meeting their quarantine requirements.

A high level South African delegation had visited Pakistan on the invitation of PHDEB. The main purpose was to show the potential that existed for sourcing fruits from Pakistan for exports utilising their marketing network. Couple of leading companies has shown interest in sourcing mangoes.

RUSSIA: Since the visit of a delegation in 2004, Russia has emerged as one of the leading markets for kinnow. One of the success factors had been the linkage with the leading importing and distribution companies. They are the key suppliers to main chain stores in Russia.

As these companies are importing all kinds of fruits and vegetable all the year round for their clients, it will be appropriate to use the same channels for exporting mangoes. The initial spadework required is to analyse the prevailing situation with regard to the mango trade between Russia and other exporting countries regarding the quantity, varieties and logistics and price. Once the data is accessed then the market strategy would be formulated, the plan said.

SAUDI ARABIA: Gulf and Saudi Arabia are the major markets for Pakistani mangoes (78.4 percent of Pakistan's total production of 60,761 tonnes). The total mango import of Saudi Arabia is around 34,553 tonnes, out of which Pakistan's share is 13,224 tonnes. Located in the proximity of Pakistan, with huge Asian population this market possesses comparative advantage for Pakistani exporters to increase volume and price. This could be attained through pre-shipment inspection and marketing efforts ie, contacting major importers and distributors who are supplying to chain stores, the plan suggested.



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