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October 25, 2019

Mango exports to Iran stagger on treatment objection

Business

October 25, 2019

KARACHI: Pakistan’s mango exports to lucrative Iranian market showed no improvement this year as Iran largely rejected the hot water treatment standards followed in the country, sources said on Thursday.

The sources said the neighbouring country raised objections over several hot water treatment plants. A high-level delegation of Iran’s quarantine department had visited Pakistan to inspect hot water treatment plants installed by the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) in various cities.

The sources said the Iranian delegation visited a total of 19 hot water treatment plants and posed satisfaction over four to five plants in their initial report sent to the DPP.

Falak Naz, director general of the DPP told The News that Iran had not shared their reservations. “Every country has its own standards and requirements,” she said. “We are inviting all countries to see our plants.”

Naz said Australia had approved three Pakistani hot water treatment plants while the US was importing from one or two plants.

“This is private sector investment. We liked Iran to approve all 19 plants they visited, but we couldn’t force them,” she added. “It is according to the demand of the importing country. Now, season is over. We wish to have more exports next year.”

Pakistan succeeded in exporting 118,000 tons of mangoes till September-end this year, compared with 80,000 tons a year earlier. The exports didn’t include unofficial trade to Iran and Afghanistan.

Sources said there has been an indication of pressure from some influential quarters for the approval of these plants. “If such plants are brought into the stream, mango exports can have a negative impact and at the same time Iran could also place a ban on import of Pakistani mangoes,” one stakeholder said.

“A preliminary report sent by the Iranian Department of Plant Quarantine is being ‘intentionally’ hushed up and efforts are made to get the approval of these plants from the Iranian authorities,” he added.

The Iranian authorities gave interesting remarks, in the initial report, regarding a hot water treatment plant situated in Quetta.

The Iranian quarantine department expressed its astonishment over the hot water treatment planted in Quetta. The plant is in an area where mango is not cultivated and it is at a distance from mango producing areas, the report seen by The News showed.

Iranian authorities further said the plant is located near the fruit and vegetable market. “The plant is near fruit and vegetable centres. Re-infestation chances (are) more,” the Iranian department said in the report.

Iranian officials described the plant as a complete failure, saying those who installed the plant had no previous experience of hot water treatment.

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