Islamabad: USAID under its US Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Development Programme has distributed 13 mango graders worth $750,000 among the mango farmers to make the local product more competitive in international market.
In order to distribute the mango graders a ‘mango gala’ was organized by US Agency for International Development (USAID) to encourage the mango farmers as well as for promoting the mango exports from the country.
The latest, custom made, automated mango graders would be utilized for the first time to grade export quality mangoes during the crop season 2017.
The mango gala event also brought together public and private sector stakeholders to discuss export trends and explore new opportunities.
It may be recalled that the USAID launched the US Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Development in 2015 to increase commercial agriculture and livestock sectors competitiveness in international and national markets.
The programme was focused in four product lines including meat, high value and off-seasons vegetables, mangoes and citrus.
The partnership acts as a catalyst for development and investment and promotes cooperation among farmers, processors, exporters and buyers of agricultural products from the country.
USAID Mission Director Jerry Bisson and Chairman, Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Dr Yusuf Zafar attended the event and distributed mango graders among farmers.
Addressing the event USAID Mission Director said the US government through USAID was determined to increase access to new markets for Pakistani mango farmers.
It was ascertained to ensure compliance with international grading standards and export protocols and wanted to make Pakistani mangoes as competitive as they could be in the international market, he added.
Speaking on the occasion Chairman, PARC Dr Yusuf Zafar expressed his appreciation for the generous contribution from the United Stated in supporting this sector of Pakistan’s agriculture industry.