Plans to establish more irradiation centres in United States southern states would benefit Pakistani mango exporters and brighten chances of enhanced mango exports to that country. Although mango exports from Pakistan to the US are allowed but only after going through strict irradiation process in that country.
The shipments first go to Chicago from where these are transported to Sadex Corporation in Siouk City in Western Iowa for electron beam irradiation and then distributed from Iowa to other states. In terms of cost it could minimise high cost of shipping to Chicago then transport to Iowa for electron beam irradiation; and then distribute from Iowa. Opening of more irradiation centres also gives Pakistani exporters more options and flexibility, according to CEO Harvest Tradings Ahmad Jawad.
Addition of a new irradiation centre in Gulfport, Mississippi, would be a new hope for our mangoes, he said, and welcomed the development as a positive step. “Once the irradiation units increase, automatically prices for irradiation will come down in order to compete with each other, which will be a big comfort for mango buyers and give us a new hope for our mango to tap that huge market,” he said.
Currently, the only approved irradiation facility available to treat Pakistani mangoes is run by Sadex Corporation in Iowa, which charges by the hour rather than volume making small imports expensive. It was not fair, he said, to enforce on us only one port of entry. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) of US must formulate easy to handle polices for the import of Pakistani mangoes as they have done for Indian products. “We want level playing field for fruit exports to US market.”
Jawad requested Pakistan’s Ambassador in Washington to set up a meeting with United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)/APHIS officials on priority basis to this important issue. “If we don’t pull our socks, China and India will throw us away from every market through stronger functioning export mechanism, rigorous international marketing and strategic mango diplomacy crusaded by their envoys in all parts of the world.”
Since 2011 to date, Pakistan has not been able to capture the US mango market except export of some small volumes last year. The performance of relevant organisations which have been assigned the job of boosting countries exports is visible only on paper and no where near to ground realities. It was time for implementation and making drastic decisions for boosting mango exports which are in big demand not only in Europe and Middle East but United States, Japan and Korea as well, exporters said.