Karachi, June 09, 2020: Opening of Pak-Iran border-Taftan on alternate days for a limited time period and reduced number of trucks from Iran to Pakistan is posing serious threat to the smooth export of Pakistani mango to Iran.
Taftan boarder is being used for export of Pakistani Mango to Iran. Thus, mango exporters have approached the Ministry of Interior with a request to talk with the Iranian government for keeping the Taftan border open for seven days a week with extended timings for movements of goods and the quantum of trucks coming from Iran to Pakistan may also be enhanced.
Currently the Pak-Iran border (Tafton) opens for three days per week on alternate days for limited timings & 75 trucks coming from Iran to Pakistan are used for export of mangoes to Iran.
These Iranian trucks are unsuitable as well inadequate for carrying mangoes from Pakistan to Iran since the trucks while coming from Iran carry LPG, Cement and other products – Waheed disclosed.
Elaborating the situation, Waleed Ahmed a leading exporter informed that due to less number of trucks and unsuitability to carry back mangoes from Pakistan to Iran, Pakistan is unable to export anticipated volume of mango while exporters are sustaining huge financial losses due to the limitation of short duration of border opening and reduced number of trucks coming from Iran.
According to Waheed, these limitations have resulted in long queues of mango trucks with open top are piling up near the border and mango being sensitive to time and temperature dur to it is highly perishable nature the chance of mangoes getting spoiled cannot be ruled out.
As of now around 60 trucks of mangoes are awaiting at the border and with each passing day, this number is being multiplied. These trucks are carrying mangoes worth USD 800,000 and if these trucks are not cleared to cross the border to Iran, the exporters are most likely to sustain huge financial losses.
Due to these serious issues, the losses are running in tune of USD 70,000 per day!
In a letter sent to the Federal Ministry of Interior the Pakistan Fruits and Vegetable Merchants and Exporters Association (PFVA) has appealed for an expeditious resolution of the issues of trade at the Pak-Iran border.
The letter has also urged to take up these issue with the Iranian Government recommending that instead of alternate days the border shall be kept opened for 7days a week with extended time frame and the number of containers from Iran must also be increased to 150 containers per day so that mango export from Pakistan to Iran can be further enhanced.
“If the concerning issues highlighted are not immediately addressed, it’s feared that the current year’s export target of mango may not be achieved – Waheed cautioned.
It may be worth mentioning that keeping the severe global impact of COVID -19 pandemic & climatic changes, the Association (PFVA) has restricted it’s current year’s export target to 80,000 metric ton which is 50,000 ton less than previous year’s export target of 1,30,000 ton.
It’s but obvious that reduction in the export target would lead to significant shortfall in revenue generation. Last year by exporting 1,30000 ton of mangoes, the country earned valuable foreign exchange of USD 90 million which is likely to remain limited to USD 50 million – Waheed deplored.