ISLAMABAD,: Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) President Wang Zihai suggested that Pakistan needed to enhance cooperation with China to modernise farming structures and techniques to increase mango production.
It could also help to produce quality fruits and improve competitiveness in the global markets to boost exports and earn valuable foreign exchange, he added.
According to Gwadar Pro on Tuesday, he made the suggestion at an online meeting with the executive members at PCJCCI Secretariat, Lahore.
Wang Zihai observed that the decline in mango production due to an unusual spike in temperatures coupled with water shortages is an emerging problem in Pakistan.
He added that a drip irrigation system should be followed for the successful growth of mangoes as the system delivers small amounts of water only where needed.
Since Pakistan is currently facing huge water shortages due to less snowfall and rain, this method will help increase the crop yield of mangoes, he maintained.
Ehsan Chaudhry, Senior Vice President PCJCCI said that until 2018, Pakistan produced 1.9 million metric tons of mangoes annually, thus ranking sixth in the world, preceded by India, China, Thailand, Indonesia, and Mexico.
The country’s mango production has declined over the past four years due to global warming. Currently, Pakistan’s annual mango production stands between 1.7 million and 1.8 million metric tons.
He suggested that there was a dire need for joint ventures with China for establishing quality enhancement centres, fruit processing units, dehydration plants, drip irrigation and cold storage chains so Pakistani fruits could be exported in line with international standards.
Pakistan can be on the list of top three exporters of mangoes in the next five years, both in terms of volume and value, if the government continues to adhere to making prudent and result-oriented policies in this regard.
Sarfraz Butt, Vice President PCJCCI said that outdated cultivation and harvesting techniques, high cost of production, substandard cold storage facilities, and lack of research and development are the major hindrances to the growth of the mango industry.
He said that China has already helped Pakistan overcome multiple issues that Pakistani farmers were facing by improving electricity supply and road infrastructure across the country under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Pakistani exporters believe that country needed to secure a strong presence in the bigger and high-value international markets like China to earn high profits.
Salahuddin Hanif, Secretary General PCJCCI said that Pakistan has also held events in China in recent years to promote the new, better varieties and rich flavour of Pakistani mangoes to the Chinese people, and according to organisers, the feedback was more than encouraging.
There is a dire need of forming a preliminary research team to put ideas into practice and fight against the water crisis and global warming, he added.