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Government decides to establish cold storages on airports and shipping ports across Pakistan

In the consultative session, an agreement was made by the government and the Representatives of Fruit and Vegetable Exporters to establish cold storage areas on airports and shipping ports across Pakistan.

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On Sunday, 13th December, the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) hosted a video-link session to address the issues surrounding mango exports. In the consultative session, an agreement was made by the government and the Representatives of Fruit and Vegetable Exporters to establish cold storage areas on airports and shipping ports across Pakistan.

The meeting was also joined by the advisor to Prime Minister for Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood, chairman of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA), Waheed Ahmad, exporters of mangoes and farmers. Also present were the officials of the Ministry of Commerce (MOC), Ministry of National Food Security and Research (MNFSR), and Department of Plant Protection (DPP).

“Held a fruitful consultative session with the growers, farmers, and exporters of Mangoes at the MOC. We discussed problems facing the exports of mango and discussed the way forward. We agreed to explore establishing cold storage areas on airports and shipping ports. We also agreed to establish a Mango Development Council under the forthcoming STPF,” updated Abdul Razak Dawood on Twitter, after the session.

Read more: Pakistan’s mango exports stalled by coronavirus pandemic

This significant decision would have a positive effect on Pakistan’s exports. Most fruits and vegetables do not last long in warmer weather, hence why they need to be placed in cold storage to prevent their degeneration, especially in airports and shipping ports where they need to be sent for exports. Pakistan’s harsh weather conditions do not favor fruits and vegetables’ longevity, which ultimately affects our exports. Establishing cold storage would prevent this issue and benefit our agriculture industry as well as exports.

Moreover, it was decided that the Ministry of Aviation and the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) would be asked to dedicate a separate area for mango consignments. In addition to that, to avoid the frequent loading and unloading of smaller crates, CAA would also be requested to put in place scanners that are bigger in size.

The session further shed light on the challenges surrounding high freight charges, compliance requirements, absence of storage facilities at Pakistani airports, and inadequate water and vapor treatment facilities. 

A presentation by the Agro Wing of the Commerce Division revealed that exported Pakistani mangoes are selling at a higher price than in previous years, and their exports have maintained a good trajectory. 

Read more: Pakistan’s “King of Fruit” exports set to nosedive amid a pandemic

The Ministry of Commerce (MoC) vowed to explore new markets and attain tariff concessions for mango exports. The session also agreed on exploring the possibility of establishing a Mango Development Council, which would be represented by farmers, cool chains representatives, traders, and research institutes, etc. 

The Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) was requested to increase its efforts in marketing Pakistani mangoes internationally. The year 2019-20 saw an increase in local mango exports to $104 million from $78 million in 2018-19, revealed the Ministry of Commerce. According to a press release by MoC, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Afghanistan, Oman, and Saudi Arabia are the main markets for Pakistan’s export.

Read more: Pakistan’s exports growing faster than India, Bangladesh post-COVID-19 first wave: Bloomberg

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