Dutch Visa Denied to Pakistan’s Mango Exports

Once again, Pakistan’s mango exports to the United Kingdom and the European Union (EU) have come under the radar after a mango consignment from Pakistan was rejected in Amsterdam because of the presence of a fruit fly. This is the first such instance in this year. Dr. Mubarak Ahmed, the Director General of Department of Plant Protection (DPP) said that this was the first rejection this season of any mango consignment and clearance measures had been tightened for controlling the situation.

Similar to last year, the issue of fruit flies and others are becoming a challenge for mango exports. The situation could prove to be disastrous for Pakistan because it was made clear last year by the EU that Pakistani fruits and vegetables may be completely banned from the European markets if they get more than five rejections. The consignment that was rejected in Amsterdam had been sent via air and had weighed 4.5 tons. Mango exports from the country had begun in last month’s third week and about 26,000 tons of mangoes had been successfully exported in this season.

The EU is one of the most attractive markets of the world for fresh fruit exports and it had slapped a ban on some Indian fruits and vegetables last year, which included mangoes. This had been a serious blow for Indian exports. Pakistan took this as a timely lesson in the previous year and had taken concrete measures for avoiding any such bans being imposed on its fruits and vegetables. For the first time in history, a well-known and global practice had been introduced by the DPP for tracking fruit farms and also trees in May 2014 for standardizing the exports of mangoes to the European Union (EU).

The practice worked rather well for the country as a better price was fetched by mango exporters. In some cases, the price was double the average charged in the current year. This had provided encouragement to the authorities for replicating the system and using it for other fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetable growers are provided quarantine facilities by DPP, which is one of the 14 organizations serving under the Ministry of National Food Security and Research. The organization came in the spotlight last year when unorthodox measures had been taken by it for implementing quarantine measures in the country for the import and export of fresh fruits, vegetables and other farm products.