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Interview with a Mango Farmer from Multan (translation given below)

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Published on Jun 30, 2011

BACKGROUND: Muzaffar Hayat Khakwani, a mango farmer from Multan, talks about the benefits of USAID's technical and financial assistance to Pakistan's mango industry at the recent Mango Pack House Operations training conducted by USAID.

As part of its Mango Program, USAID has provided state-of-the art equipment to 13 mango farms across Sindh and Punjab on a cost share basis. This equipment includes complete mango processing lines with hot water treatment, blast chiller and cold storage units, and other essentials. Simultaneously, USAID has also conducted training sessions in Sindh and Punjab to help farm owners, managers, and workers learn how to install, operate, and maintain this equipment. Other important aspects of trainings included GLOBALG.A.P protocols for maintaining personnel and equipment hygiene, food safety measures, and correct methods of mango post-harvest handling, processing, packaging, storage, and transportation to markets (domestic and international). All this is part of a larger program to help Pakistani mangoes meet the international quality standards and productivity requirements for high-volume exports to international markets.

TRANSLATION: My name is Muzaffar Hayat Khakwani and I am representing Muzaffar Nagar Mango Farm. I am also the President of the Multan Mango Growers' Association. We are gathered here for the Mango Pack House Operations Training. Today is the 3rd day of training. On the 1st day we were briefed on general hygiene and certain procedures that needed to be followed with regards to health and food safety conditions inside the pack houses. Yesterday was the 2nd day of training and revolved around various aspects of the blast chiller and cold storage facilities, such as the maintenance of equipment, maintaining the correct temperature, and troubleshooting techniques. Today's training deals with the pack house and the mango processing line itself. For this purpose, mangoes have been collected which will then be processed by going through the various stages of the processing line. We will witness the whole procedure, its benefits, and effects on mango quality, which will lead to more profits for us.

Around 4 to 5 years ago, a survey was conducted, which showed that mangoes imported from Philippines were selling for USD 1200 per ton in the U.K. while those from Pakistan were selling for USD 340-400 per ton. The reason for this price differential was the poor quality of the Pakistani Mangoes, which can be attributed to the fact that Pakistani growers were unaware of certain post-harvest techniques and did not have access to machinery which may have helped in maintaining the quality of mangoes.

Thanks to USAID, we have received the necessary machinery. Prior to this, we invested PKR 6 to 7 million in constructing the buildings necessary for pack houses, after which USAID provided us with machinery and training. Due to these practices, Pakistani mangoes will fetch competitive prices in the world market and also increase farmers' revenue. This was our dream, which we can finally see coming true.

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed in these interviews are the speakers' views and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of USAID, the United States Government or Chemonics International Inc.

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