MULTAN-The Mango Growers Cooperative Society (MGCC) warned on Wednesday water scarcity has posed serious threat to mango orchards, demanding the government to impose a water emergency in the country forthwith.

A meeting of the Executive Committee of Mango Growers Cooperative Society Ltd. was held in Multan chaired by its President Zahid Hussain Gardezi. The meeting discussed at length the problems of the Mango Growers and Mango Industry at large including progress under Vision - 2025.

The members were of the view that water scarcity is becoming threatening for Mango orchards which were earlier sanctioned double canal water as its share than another field crops as a policy.

A special "Water Emergency "should be declared in the country and completion of new water reservoirs should be done on war footings. It was desired that Solar Tube-wells should be provided to mango growers under growers and government sector share of 20: 80 percent.

They also desired brick-lining of minor canals and watercourses in mango growing areas without discrimination.

The meeting demanded that Mango Growers should be provided facilities of Pack Houses as Common Facility Centres and cold storage facilities in major Mango producing areas to facilitate export of this King of Fruit. It was also desired that there was an urgent need to upgrade Cargo Complex at Multan Airport which is yet devoid of contemporary facilities and additional space for export of perishables.

The members were of the opinion that Ministry of Commerce and Industries should facilitate business sector, Industrialists and investor to establish chain of value added Industry in Mango region to produce Mango Pulp, Dried, frozen, tinned and sliced Mango and many other Bye-Products which have great international demand to help growers safeguard their livelihood and Pakistan to earn substantial foreign exchange.

The members were off the view that though Pakistan has no dearth of agriculture Scientists yet there has been no significant research in line with contemporary global developments in mango sector except addressing the recurrent issues of diseases and pests and desired to streamline the responsibilities of Mango Research & Development Board established by Agriculture Department Punjab to play more proactive role. They also desired more funding for research institutions.

The meeting demanded provision of facilities for Foliar and pesticide residue analysis Labs in Mango Research Station Multan and equip it with adequate allied facilities to make it a modern research facility.

They desired basic research outlets at all Mango Producing Tehsils under a competent horticulturist to provide guidance to growers at doorsteps.

The members of the MGCSL executive committee demanded that Mango Research Institutions should establish Model Farms and Mango Nurseries at all Tehsils of mango areas and should arrange to provide latest farm machinery especially sprayers, pruners, pickers to growers at subsidized rates.

The mango growers desired a greater role of Mango Growers Cooperative Society Limited Registered Body of Mango Growers under government of Punjab Department of Cooperatives in Mango Research & Development Board to make it more representative and functional.

The meeting appreciated the present Government for reducing the electricity tariff for tube wells and desired that such agriculture friendly policies should also be implemented on other agriculture inputs especially fertilizer products which have registered phenomenal rise of late.

The meeting was attended by Khizer Abbas Bukhari, Nasir Abbas Jaferi, Mian Arshad Abbas Qureshi, Maj (r) Hassan Askari, Mehr, Maqbool Jangla, Omar Shah Bukhari , Shoaib Langah, Amjad Sargana and Ansar Jamal.