STAFF REPORT IBD: The caretaker government has been urged to prioritize lifting non-tariff barriers for US market access, ahead of the countrys general election on May 18 so that the volume of mango export to that country is enhnaced.

“What we want is a playing field, and so the government should try to get us the same comfort and facility approvals that are given to Indian mango exports to the US,” said Harvest Tradings CEO, Ahmad Jawad, explaining the existing protocol of irradiation in the US is too expensive.

He mentioned that India has its own irradiation facility that the USDA stamped – we have irradiation facilities in Lahore and one in Karachi, and if the US would allow us to use these there would be a significant saving in cost.

“If we look at all the costs of getting into the United States, from production to packing to the irradiation in Iowa, it ends up costing $21-23 per 2kg box. But if we are able to use our facilities in Pakistan the cost would be around $13-15 per 2kg box, and thats a big difference,” he said.

He stressed that if they can take on this issue it will be good news for the business community of Pakistan. It would be a relief as the United States is the worlds largest importer of mangoes.

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