India and China have beaten Pakistan, the world’s largest producer and exporter of mangoes, in terms of export mechanism and marketing strategy, said Harvest Tradings CEO Ahmad Jawad on Wednesday.
“We have lost the Asian markets slowly and gradually due to the strong hold of Chinese mangoes,” Jawad said. “Moreover, every year we find new markets theoretically but practically, due to the lack of required infrastructure and strict conditions of other nations on exports of the fruit, we haven’t been able to tap those markets,” he added.
“Pakistan has a unique but unsophisticated network of six to seven intermediaries running between growers and end-users due to the presence of many unnecessary layers in the export loop,” said Haji Shah Jahan, president Falahi Anjuman Fruits and Vegetables Market.
When the product arrives in the global market, costs reach such levels where price-conscious consumers opt for the low cost product and this favors the rivals of the Pakistani mango.
“As a result of this policy, it is reported that 30-40 percent of the perishable produce gets spoiled before reaching the ultimate consumer,” he said. Shah Jahan added that lack of marketing strategies has also led to Pakistan losing out to Indian and Chinese competitors.
This year, Pakistan has set a target to export 0.15 million tons of mangoes worth $50 million. Last year, Pakistan had exported 0.134 million tons of the fruit and earned $38 million in revenues.
Furthermore, Jawad said that Pakistan had been working for a long time to tap into to the US market with its high quality mangoes. The conditions and requirements set for Pakistani mango exports to the US made it a costly matter.
He said that to-date mango buyers in the US are concerned about the financial feasibility of selling Pakistani mangoes because of the high prices.
During the last three years, Pakistan has obtained the market access of the US, Japan, Jordan, Mauritius, and South Korea. Besides, the preparation for market access to Australia, another important destination, is already under process. The government had always thought that the private sector would invest to obtain these facilities as probably they do not have fiscal resources or they would not invest, he said. “In these circumstances, Ministry of Commerce through Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC) must focus on those markets that don’t require any specialised requirements like Sudan, Iraq, Egypt and Central Asian States market for the survival of mango exports,” Jawad said.
Co-chairman of Pakistan Fruits and Vegetables Exporters Importers and Merchants Association Waheed Ahmed has said that Pakistan’s export has been closed to Iran as the nation has increased its import duties to 250 percent, which made exports impossible. Apart from the increase in the duty, due to the international barriers on trade with Iran, mango exports of 30,000 tons to Iran would also suffer, he said.
“Iran was our solid market but they made our trade impossible because of higher duty charges while government was not interested to handle the matter through negotiations,” Ahmed said