ISLAMABAD: Federal government is taking necessary steps to introduce small hot water treatment plants at farm level as well as encouraging private sector to establish commercial facility centres for hot water treatment in mango producing areas of the country.
The government is launching a project to control mango fruit fly and introduction of hot water treatment units in the mango areas. Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFSR) during demonstration of small-scale mango Hot Water Treatment (HWT) unit in Multan said fruit fly attack on mango was a serious issue. Due to fruit fly infestation our mango export has a big challenge to operate in European Union (EU) and threat of ban due to fruit fly always hovers around us.
We are still practicing traditional mango harvesting and processing methods except few modern mango-processing facilities. Due to lack of proper mango processing plants including HWTP, quality of mango exported by bulk exporters is not up to the required standards.
Bosan said to enter into the export domain of USA and Japan, exporters required a high level of entrepreneurship, market demands, awareness of processing, packaging techniques and plant technologies, adaptation to modern refrigeration methodologies and conforming to quality standard set out by different importing countries for import of mangoes.
Government will prefer to shrink mango export rather than allow uncertified fruit to EU and induce a ban. He said United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) was doing its job to enhance mango export and at the same time making efforts to reduce fruit fly infestation in partnership with MNFS&R for introducing small-scale mango HWTP.
We are planning to distribute 10 more such plants to different clusters of mango growers. Small growers should benefit from small HWTP and get rid of fruit fly infestation and other diseases. Farmers should farm clusters of 4 growers and use this plant.
Mango is the second major fruit crop in Pakistan in terms of areas, production and export volume.
Dr Iftikhar Ahmad Chairman Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC highlighted PARC mango research and value chain initiatives. He said PARC took initiative to develop mango HWTP to meet international market requirement and to enhance the export of mango from Pakistan. These plants are necessary because the importing countries have strict requirements that mango fruit should be treated with hot water.
He said the plant was suitable for farmers’ fields and even the mango growers with smallholdings could treat their mango fruit by HWTP. This treatment will disinfest mango from fruit fillies and other diseases and farmers will be able to export quality mango and they can earn more profit and more foreign exchange.
Bruno Valanzuolo of UNIDO, Chairman Mango Growers Consortium, Maj (retd) Tariq Khan, President Multan Mango Growers Association and other also highlighted various aspects of mango treatment plant, export of mango and regulatory framework for control of fruit fly infestation.
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