Concerned quarters related to agricultural production in the country have expressed serious concern that Pakistani mango exports in the international market this year could suffer a serious setback owing to the highly questionable conduct of the inspectors / entomologists of Department of Plant Protection (DPP) and PPDG and director technical are not even taking any action against them which indicates their some vested interests as well.
These concerned quarters have demanded that the federal government should readily come into action to check the functioning of the DPP before it is too late as any foreign country slapping ban on Pakistani mango exports will be seriously detrimental to the national economy during the ongoing anti-coronavirus lockdown.
They appealed to the Prime Minister and Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research to look into the registration of substandard pants, pack houses, highly dubious quality control system and quarantine methods and policies being pursued by the DPP before export of Pakistani mangoes to Iran and other countries.
These quarters suspect that certain unscrupulous quarantine officials / inspectors and head of the DPP have come up with vicious plan while taking advantage of the existing lockdown measures against the spread of coronavirus that has restricted international travel.
They expressed apprehension that if the vicious plan in question implemented then Pakistani mango exports could come under irreparable damage in the years to come.
These quarters fear that PPDG and Director Technical have planned to take advantage that the Iranian officials could not come to Pakistan this year to physically inspect the hot water treatment plants due to lockdown restrictions in place on foreign travel.
It is worth mentioning here that hot water treatment is mandatory for import of Pakistani mangoes to Iran as quarantine measures as untreated mangoes are not acceptable by the neighbouring country of Pakistan.
The concerned circles believe that while Iranian officials will not be available this year for physical inspection, an attempt will be made by DPP to get approval for around 14 new hot water treatment plants in Pakistan, which were earlier rejected by Iran last year after their inspection and do not fulfil standards.
They said that last year the officials of Iran’s Department of Plant Quarantine had duly visited Pakistan to visit these new hot water treatment plants. After a thorough inspection of these plants, the Iranian officials in their reports, which were later on submitted to Pakistan, approved only five of these new 19 plants.
Now the same elements are once more active to get approval for these defective treatment plants obviously for their own vested interest.
They demand action against such officials of DPP as otherwise, Pakistan’s agricultural exports could suffer massive damage. The action should be initiated as soon as possible as the Pakistani export season has been in progress.
They concerned circles are of the view that working of DPP should be improved after weeding corruption in its working to follow international best practices for exports of the agricultural produce that is a big source for earning foreign exchange reserves for Pakistan.
Pakistani economy at this critical juncture-when international trade has been badly affected due to coronavirus pandemic-could not afford any such adventurism owing to the fraudulent and questionable conduct of certain quarantine officials of the country.