Back-to-back interceptions of fruit fly-infested mango consignments which originated from Sindh have worried mango producers of the province, for they have gone the extra mile to improve their farm management practices.
Sindh’s mango orchard owners have worked hard with their Australian counterparts and the management of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in last four years to ensure that they get best of mangoes for export to European and other markets.
Two mango shipments were intercepted in London for being infested with fruit fly, forcing the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) to withdraw ‘green channel’ facility for farmers and exporters to send the fruit to Europe without hot water treatment (HWT), under which mangoes are dipped in hot water at 48 degrees Celsius for one hour to counter fruit fly problem.
It is now mandatory for every exporter and farmer to have their mangoes processed under hot water treatment. A common HWT facility of Pakistan Horticulture Development Board (PHDB) is available in Karachi where 500 tonnes of mangoes could be processed in an hour.