Pakistan can tap huge mango market by exporting mangoes to India, which is bigger than European market, with low transportation cost as it is in high demand, said University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan. He was talking to Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) Research Programme Manger Dr Les Baxter and Australia-Pakistan Agriculture Sector Linkages Programme (ASLP) Operations Manger Dr Munawwar R Kazmi at his chamber.
The Vice Chancellor called for promoting value-addition to our agricultural commodities in order to get due share in international markets.
He said that besides Rahim Yar Khan, Multan and Sindh, mango belt in Azad Kashmir had also great potential that might be included in ASLP projects.
He said that the belt is having diversity with different colours, aroma and tastes. Mostly women are harvesting the tress to earn their livelihood.
If we focus on the areas, it will not help in poverty alleviation but also bring foreign exchange for the country by reducing the post harvest losses and introducing processing industry.
He added that valuable research history was available in apples and citrus but the same was missing in dates and mangoes that is an area of concerns.
He added that UAF was carrying researches on 500 samples of mangoes from Azad Kashmir keeping in view the increment in production, sudden death disease resistance and other avenues.
He said that the UAF is also working on agri policy law and governance centre with the help of Australia that will bring tangible results in increasing agri productivity.
He said that Pakistan is blessed with more diversity of dates as compared to in Middle East. He also suggested promoting the dates export by making it value addition.
Dr Les Baxter said that Australia had launched many projects for increment in agri productivity in Pakistan that will ultimately beneficial for poverty alleviation.
He said under ACIAR, his country was actively involved in research work, value addition, processing and marketing of mangoes in Sindh and districts of Multan, Rahim Yar Khan.
He said they worked for improving sustainable agricultural production in developing countries; fund project related training and development activities. He agreed considering the mango in Azad Kashmir in his project.
Dr Munawwar said that organic Kashmiri mango pickle, jam, sauce, and other products would be included in the project by ensuring marketing and branding mechanism.
Dr Rao Asif, Dr Amanullah Malik, Dr Shokat, Dr Mubashar and Dr Babar Shahbaz were present on the occasion.