Pakistan hopes giant mango treatment plant will boost exports
Hot water treatment is required for shipments to the Middle East and the new plant has gained quarantine approval for Lebanon, Jordan, China and Mauritius, and is in the process of gaining approval for Australia and South Korea.
All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters Importers and Merchants Association secretary general Muhammad Ilyas Khan, said it was significant step forward.
"It's really good news as it is an approved 'common facility' for all the exporters of this association who have to meet specific requirement of hot water treatment for mangoes prior to export to that particular country."
Multan Progressive Mango Growers' Group’s chief executive Tariq Khan, said it was a positive development.
"Hot water treatment is one of several options for treatment of mangoes and is applicable for better shelf life; most countries demand such protocols."
He added that for producers wanting to export to the U.S. irradiation was also required, but hot water treatment was suitable for shipments to the Middle East and Europe.
The plant is funded via a public-private partnership with an investment of PKR230 million (US$2.4 million) out of which PKR80 million (US$847,000) has been provided by the Federal government.
Pakistan Hortifresh Processing will manage the plant but since it has pubic investment, the plant infrastructure will be used as a common facility center for mango exporters nationwide.
The country already has three hot water treatment plants run by Iftikhar Ahmed & Co (IAC), Durrani Associates and Pakistan Horti Fresh Processing (Pvt.) Ltd.
Hot water treatment is estimated to extend the fruit's shelf life to 35 days allowing exporters to send more cargo via sea offering considerable savings compared with air freighting.
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