ISLAMABAD - Pakistan’s mangoes exports to European Union have increased by 10 per cent as the EU removed the yellow flag that they had put on the mangoes at the start of the current mango season.

According to the details, last year, 237 consignments of Pakistani mangoes were rejected by the EU authorities mainly due to infestation with fruit fly. The situation was worse in case of Indian mangoes and the EU clamped a ban on the import of Indian mangoes. Pakistani mangoes were placed under strict observation and the critics feared a similar ban on the export of Pakistani mangoes to EU. The Ministry of Commerce and Ministry of National Food Security quickly came into action and took necessary measures to ensure pest-free import of mangoes to EU. The government made it obligatory for the mango exporters to follow hot water treatment procedures to make the mangoes free of fruit-fly. Department of Plant Protection started registration of mango orchards which followed all the standard practices to remove the remnant of any pests. Resultantly, this year, the occurrence of fruit-fly infestations in the exported mango to EU reduced from 237 to 2, the exports rose by about 10% as compared to the previous year and the exporters received higher per unit price.

Ministry of Commerce has decided to lease out imported Vapour Heat Treatment (VHT) plant in a transparent manner so that it may be made operational before the start of the next mango export season. Some high-end markets like Japan only allow vapour heat treated fruits but there are not many Vapour Heat Treatment plants available in Pakistan. With the government-imported VHT plant in place the exporters will have a great opportunity to enhance their profits. This will also prompt the private sector to invest in this advanced treatment technology.

Federal Minister for Commerce, Engr Khurram Dastgir Khan has said that European Union has removed the yellow flag that they put on Pakistani mangoes at the start of the current mango season and now the Pakistani mangoes are no more under observation by the European Union.

The minister said that to materialize Prime Minister’s vision of enhancing agricultural and halal food exports of Pakistan, the Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Department of Plant Protection and Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) are working in close collaboration and they will introduce a legislation in the parliament in near future to set standards for halal food in the country.