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Mango — best marketing practices

Mango — best marketing practices

PAKISTAN is the fifth largest producer and the fourth-biggest exporter of different varieties of mangoes. While production is dominated by two major varieties — Chaunsa and Sindhri — other varieties such as Langra, Anwar Ratool, Dosheri, Bangan Palia and Neelum are also cultivated.

Mango marketing is in private hands and the role of the public sector is to provide an enabling environment: provision of physical infrastructure, regulatory measures, market intelligence and market promotion.

Well-organised ‘superior’ retail markets are growing particularly in the country’s big cities and retail outlets are setting quality trends. However, the high end markets procure mango from the traditional sources such as wholesale fruit and vegetable market.

The traditional wholesale market lacks a value-oriented approach to feed the supply chain handicapped by the systematic impediments to the post-harvest handling of crops. Consequently, the overall performance of the mango business does not match its potential.

“If mangoes are sweet in taste, nice, neat and clean, then no worry about price,” according to a consumer. Major export markets of Pakistani mango are the Middle East and European countries which require certified ‘best practices’ from the exporting countries.

Since Pakistan is a major mango exporter it is facing issues of quality, grading and pricing.

A joint Australia-Pakistan project — Mango Value Chain Improvement — was initiated in 2006. The ‘best practices’ if applied correctly, can deliver superior quality mango to the market on a sustained basis. These practices involve: harvesting fruit at the correct stage of maturity; modified harvesting practices; careful de-sapping to avoid sap burn.

And pack house operations should include: washing, hot water treatment, sponge dryer and hot air drying, grading, open air drying and sizing, packing in cardboard boxes, ripening with ethylene gas, and careful handling in transporting to local and foreign markets.

The outcomes of best practices indicated that the growers were able to earn 30-40pc more. Similarly, traders on the value-oriented supply chain earn 5-10pc more profit. The high-end retailers can ensure premium quality mangoes to their high-value customers at 30pc premium price.

However, there is a regular need to support the packaging industry to ensure supply of the reliable packaging material to the premium quality fruit and vegetable traders.

The first key success factor is that the pilot project should be initiated with selective growers.

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Published in Dawn, Business & Finance weekly, May 2nd, 2016

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