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    Sunday, 9 July 2017

    Mango festival kicks off in Multan,concludes on Monday


    MULTAN: 

    Mangoes grown in Multan are rich in fibre, low in calories and contain a small amount of carbohydrates, calcium, iron, potassium and a little protein, which are highly demanded in the European Union and other advanced nations.

    Though these mangoes are recognised as one of the best in the world, Multan has been unable to take the lead from other districts of South Punjab in producing high quality mangoes for export. Therefore, in a bid to attract international buyers to import mangoes from Multan, the city district administration and Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture (MNSUA) had planned to hold a three-day mango festival on July 8 (today).
    Ambassadors from western and eastern countries and international and domestic food companies would participate in the event. On the occasion, a mango eating competition among kids would also be arranged in addition to skits and other activities. Besides, Mango Food Street concept would also be introduced in the festival, while a seminar on easy recognition of different varieties of mangoes and dealing with different diseases of the fruit will also be arranged. Various pesticide companies and agricultural tools manufacturers will also set up stalls at the festival.
    While speaking to The South Punjab News ,  Deputy Commissioner Multan Nadir Chattha said the purpose of organising mango festival is to maximise the benefit of mango crop.
    “Mangoes grown in Multan are of top quality in their taste and colour. There is a dire need to showcase this special fruit to increase its sale,” the DC said. He added that arrangements were being made for safe exports of mangoes from the fields to markets so farmers could get maximum earning.
    Meanwhile, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Agriculture Spokesperson Muhammad Ali Raza said various companies would display their stalls regarding packaging material for the safe export of mangoes during the event.
    With increasing focus on high-value markets of the US, Canada and Dubai, the exporters of mango in Pakistan have started embracing e-commerce in a bid to swiftly and easily reach out to overseas retail customers.


    Fruit exporter Farm House Export Private Limited has made preparations to ship Pakistani mangoes after booking orders online.
    It began such sales in association with Southwest Airlines of the US last year. Under the arrangement, orders were booked through the airline’s website and the fruit was delivered to customers at almost all big airports of the US.
    This year, the company has decided to approach the customers directly as well. It has developed a website named farmfreshshop.com to take retail orders of up to 2kg packaging.
    Talking to The Express Tribune, farmfreshshop.com Director Zulfiqar Momin revealed that last year the company exported 55 tons of mangoes to the US, which constituted 33% of total exports of the fruit to that market.
    It sold about three tons of mango packs of 2kg each totalling 1,400 boxes with the help of Southwest Airlines.
    “Last year’s sales have encouraged us to target the e-market. The company expects to step up its US sales to 80 tons this year,” he said. “Ramazan provides the best opportunity for mango shipments to the US.”
    Momin insisted that it was for the first time that a Pakistani company was planning to put in place an organised system for mango sales through e-commerce.
    Partnerships have been formed with American air carriers including United Airlines and Southwest Airlines as well as with logistics firm UPS.
    United Airlines will carry Pakistani mangoes from Houston to New York while Southwest Airlines will deliver the delicious fruit to customers in all cities across America. The booking of orders will start from May 25 whereas dispatches will kick off from June 1.
    Pakistani mangoes are grown with 100% natural methods and no chemical is used during processing. Mango is ripened with the help of ethane – an environment-friendly gas – and its shelf life, natural sweetness and taste are maintained.
    Mangoes will be sold at competitive prices which are $6 lower than the price for Indian produce. These mangoes are grown at the best farms. The fruit will be processed in Houston and it will be delivered anywhere in the US within 36 hours.
    Apart from the US, Farm House Export Limited is also targeting to market mangoes in Dubai by utilising the e-commerce platform.
    Company Director Shafaq Siwani revealed that another website named omymango.com was being launched and it would start receiving orders from May 26.
    Packaging of 2kg will be sold for 27 UAE dirhams and in this regard a partnership agreement has been inked with Habib Bank Limited.
    She said that Sindhri variety of mango was mostly exported to Gulf countries, but the company would also market other popular varieties such as Chaunsa, Daseri and Anwar Ratol.
    “It is an attractively profitable proposition without any cuts for the middleman. The most attractive thing is the promotion of brand,” said Siwani.
    The company has set an export target of 25 tons for this year and it is expected to carve out a market very soon in the wake of standards adopted and services offered.
    New export season begins
    This year’s mango exports are going to start from Saturday (today) with an aim to ship 100,000 tons.
    “Pakistan is expected to fetch $68 million if it achieves the annual export target,” said Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) former chairman Waheed Ahmed.
    Last year, Pakistan exported 128,000 tons of mangoes, up 28% from the annual target of 100,000 tons.
    Pakistan exports mangoes to over 50 countries. It has been exporting the fruit to the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada and European countries for many years, but has recently entered markets of South Korea, Japan, China, the US and Australia.


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    Item Reviewed: Mango festival kicks off in Multan,concludes on Monday Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Abdul Sattar Qamar