Mango Introduction and Importance

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Mango (Mangifera indica L Family Anacardiaceae) is the second major fruit crop in Pakistan. At present it is grown on an area of 93.42 thousand hectares with production 915.7 thousand tonnes Table-1. The area under mango crop has increased but the rise in production is comparatively slow. The main mango growing districts in the Punjab province are Multan, Bahawalpur, Muzzaffargarh and Rahim yar Khan. In the province of Sindh it is mainly grown in Mir Pur Khas, Hyderabad and Thatta in the province of NWFP it is grown in D.I Khan, Peshawar and Mardan. The climate of Sindh gets warmer about one month earlier than the Punjab which has given the province the privilege to grow early varieties of mango. Subsequently, a new trend of growing late varieties in Punjab has received a wide popularity which has extended the market period and added to the exportable surplus.

Table 1. Area and production of Mango in Pakistan (1992-2002).

Province Area ” 000” hectares
1992-93 1993-94 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 1997-98 1998-99 1999-00 2000-01 2001-02
Punjab 44.7 45.2 47.7 48.0 48.0 48.2 48.4 48.4 49.5 50.7
Sindh 37.3 37.8 38.6 39.5 40.2 42.4 42.8 43.5 45.0 45.8
NWFP 0.19 0.19 0.20 0.21 0.21 0.22 0.22 0.2 0.2 0.2
Baluchistan 1.2 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 2.0 2.0 2.3 2.3
Production “000” Tonnes
Punjab 510.1 5 50.1 581.3 598.8 602.3 586.2 582.2 603.8 634.9 650.3
Sindh 270.9 274.4 285.3 291.7 293.4 311.8 314.6 320.7 340.3 371.5
NWFP 1.9 2.0 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.2 2.3 2.3 2.3 2.5
Baluchistan 10.6 12.6 14.8 15.0 16.3 16.3 16.6 10.9 12.3 12.8

This delicious fruit is nutritionally superior, source of several vitamins and minerals. Pakistan produces 5.86 percent world’s mangoes being the third largest producer. Its export is progressing resulting into substantial foreign exchange earnings. Mango export including Middle East has also found its way to the UK and other European markets. It is believed that the demand would rise to as high as 50 percent given the right impetus and expanding the export to Germany, Japan China and Hong Kong.

Climate and Soil:
The ecological conditions suitable for mango cultivation are:

    • Elevations ranging from 200 to 300 meters.
    • Suitable temperature range is 15 to 40oC. Low temperatures are extremely harmful. Frosts and hot winds cause great damage to the trees. Young plants need protection against frost and hot winds.
    • A hot and humid climate is suitable. In areas with heavy rainfall, the quality of fruit may be affected.
    • Mango can be grown in a wide range of soils but well drained, deep and fertile soils are mostSuitable.
    • Salt affected soil is not good for its cultivation.

Propagation is done by various means of grafting on local seedlings.

Suitable age of nursery plant for transplanting: 1.5 to 2.0 year
Time for transplanting: In spring: Feb/March
In Autumn:Sept/Oct
Time to start of bearing: 4-5 years
Time to full bearing: 6-7 years
Normal economic bearing life:30-50 years
Time of flowering: Feb/Mar

Leading Commercial varieties:

Sindh: Sindhri, Gulabkhas, Swarnarice, Baganpalli, Collector, Neelum
Punjab: Malda, Langra, Aman Duseri, Anwar Ratol, Samer Bahisht, Fajri Kalan and Sensation.
NWFP: Lengra and Samer Bahisht
Baluchistan: Sindhri and Banganpalli

Production technology:

Annual Crop Water Demand: 500-750 mm
Irrigation intervals:
Young plants 7 days
Mature trees in winter 15-20 days
Mature trees in summer 8-10 days
  1. Apply farm yard manure at the rate of 10-30 kg per young plant and 80 to 100 kg per full grown tree.
  2. Apply 3-4 kg SSP, 2-3 kg Potassium Sulphate and 2-3 kg Urea before flowering (Dec to Jan).
  3. Apply a further 2-3 kg Urea after fruit setting in two equal doses (Mar/Apr).

Mango usually assumes a graceful dome shape shading the main trunk. No pruning is practiced however, annually after fruit harvest diseased, dried, broken branches and those touching the ground should be pruned off. To rejuvenate the orchard after every 3-4 years it is advisable that 15-20% of old wood should be removed.
Harvesting: Picking should be done when the fruit is fully developed and mature. Natural drop of the fruit is the main indication that the fruit is ready for picking. Different varieties in different areas ripe at different times. In Sindh, mango varieties start ripening from May to June. In Punjab ripening starts from June and continues up to mid August. In NWFP, the harvest is a later which helps to extend the period that mangoes are available. Expected yields vary from 40 to 100 kg per tree.

Pests and Diseases:
These suck the sap of the leaves and attack the plant during Feb/Aug. Use Folido 50% EC at the rate of 0.45 litres 450 litres of water per acre.
Fruitflies: These attack mango fruits throughout the season. They have three generations and multiply very rapidly. For effective control collect all the fallen and affected fruits and bury them deep into the soil. Pheromone traps can also be used for trapping the male population. Use Dioptries 80% at the rate of 1 litre in 450 litres of water or Malathion 57% at the rate of 0.5 litre to 450 litres of water per acre.
Mango Borer: These cause damage to shoots and stems between May and Oct. To protect the stems, cover them with a cloth or Jute and paste charcoal over it. Fostoxin tablets can also be placed and sealed in the holes made by the borers.
Mango Scales: These suck the sap from the leaves as a results of which the tree starts drying. Collect the affected leaves and burn them to check further spread. Use Metasystox 25% EC at the rate of 0.3 litre in 450 litres of water of Fotidal 50 EC at the rate of 0.5 litre in 450 litres of water per acre1.
Mango Malformation: This is a very serious disease of mango in which the leaves and inflorescence are badly deformed and gradually dry up. There is no fruit setting and no production is obtained. There is no effective control yet, however, with better cultural measures incidence can be rudeced.
Mango Blight: This is caused by Erwinia bacteria. Many spots appear on the leaves which cause a reduction in growth and yield. Use Dithane M 45 at the rate of 750 gram in 450 litres of water per acre.

Taste and Texture of Various Varieties
Virtually all the importers, wholesalers/distributors are unanimous in the view that Pakistani mango is superior in taste to other mangoes save for Alphonso of Indian origin. They are all aware of the availability of the product and the fact that it is available from Asian importers only.
Some of the non-Asian varieties are yellow just like Sindhri but mostly they are green with yellow or red blush. Some varieties are full green. Those chilled and sent by sea have no aroma while uncut but those sent fresh by air have, although not as much as Pakistan’s.
Pakistani mango is sweeter than non-Asian with higher sugar content. This also makes it more susceptible to germs which blemish the skin. British non-Asians are not used to a wholly yellow mango as they deal with mostly green with red or yellow blushing.

Harvesting, Handling. Storage
Most non-Asian mangoes are picked and shipped green, then ripened on arrival for sale. This protects the fruit from damage and allows the retailer to know the stage of ripeness in order to show its shelf life. At the same time it becomes difficult to know when to pick. Care must be taken to ensure that the node is not leaking, there is no turpentine flavor and the variety is fiber less. Varieties with fiber are displayed as such but not very popular. South American mangoes are shipped in temperature control of 7° – 14°C and can be held up to 4 weeks under correct conditions. The ripening temperature is 20° -32°C. Hot water treatment may be required to kill germs which cause blemishes on skin. Blast chilling is required for taking the heat out of the product.

European standards require traceability of fruit products i.e. every mango can be traced back to its farm. It is picked raw, chilled, and transported under controlled temperature so that it ripens slightly on the way. On arrival it has storage life of 7 – 14 days and can be ripened under controlled conditions. Since mangoes are sold individually at the retail stage, it is essential to have each piece at the same stage of ripeness. The 7 – 14 days of storage time allows the importer/distributor ample handling time and to push the fruit as demanded by customers. Proper refrigeration also allows the fruit, which is waxed and polished, to maintain its shine and spotless surface, making the red blemish look tempting. Traceability is essential so that in case and disease is detected in any piece its origin can be traced and isolated rather than destroying the entire cargo. Even in cases of smaller items like potato chips (Walkers for instance), there are cold storages on the farm and each crate denotes the area of the farm from where its produce came.

Suppliers to supermarkets have been approached in the past years. Most major importers recall the initiative.

Strategy for Branding Pakistani Mango
PHDEB has recently suggested introducing Pakistani mango as a branded product. Branded products need to be different in a market where non-branded but similar quality generic varieties are available at competitive prices. Branded products are generally expensive as compared to their non-branded counterparts.
The target market: The target market for a branded mango should be the segment where Pakistani mango is not available. Non-branded “mango would easily under cut the branded mango on the basis of price in the ethnic market of 2m people. Positioning of the branded product should be against the South American mango which has an inferior taste
Product: In the absence of infrastructure in the country, it may not be workable to promote Pakistani mango as such by a brand name .Product should be a non standard size large mango available in two colours, yellow and green. Since the standard size of the already available mango is between 225-400 gm. A branded mango should be on the higher side. It would be placed on foam tray, covered by cellophane, labeled, and initially accompanied by instructions on various ways to cut and recipes for use such as in milk shake and ice cream.
Placement: The product would be available in supermarkets. A large importer would need to be tapped and exclusivity of the brand for distribution purposes to be given to him. Due to the fact that sea freight has not been developed in Pakistan, means of transport will be air. Product will mainly cater to the non-expatriate British population and compete against the South American. South African and Mexican mango.
Pricing: Limited supply would necessitate higher profit margin for the retailer and the importer. Importer would need to be given incentive to start something new in the market.
Promotion: In-house promotion in a major supermarket chain, free samples to be distributed initially. Due to the exclusivity of the brand, general promotion in trade magazines is not suggested.


  • Although the exports of Pakistani mangoes to UK have been increasing in the last few years these generally remain confined to the expatriate Asian population. Individual efforts have been made to break into the British retail multiples but without success
  • The demand for Pakistani mango may even increase for a few more years but it is bound to reach a saturation level if market segment does not expand. The segment is approximately two million people. This will also result in gradually lower profit margins for the farmer and exporter.
  • Quantity-wise Pakistan has around 16% of the total import market in the UK. Worldwide it is the second largest market due to the large expatriate population. This could also explain why Dubai is the no. l market and Saudi Arabia no.3. The fact that countries like Singapore and Japan also import Pakistani mango shows general acceptance of its taste.
  • Pakistani mango is air freighted to UK whereas non-Asian ones are brought by sea with resultant low freight charges, longer shelf life and consistency in ripeness.

Since non-Asian mango is properly chilled it has a long storage and shelf life which is preferred by large importers/distributors but is also a precondition.

  • Catering, restaurants, hotels supplies commands substantial market segment but Pakistani mango is absent from the New Covent Garden in London which is the hub of such distributors/suppliers. Four main multiples with 40% of the fruit market do not buy Pakistani mango but are aware. However, their conditions are stringent
  • General branding of Pakistani mango is not expected to be successful in the absence of a strong supplier backed by modem supply chain. Branding a specific size for positioning in the upper end of the market may be tried but the possibility of developing and maintaining such a product need to be further discussed.
  • Consumer market is so diverse that pricing and packaging can be varied. If target is supermarkets then for their immense buying power packaging requirements will have to be standardized and profit margins altered. Success with one supermarket chain has the potential of developing into success for EU.
  • Market can constrict due to raise also in input prices for Pakistani mango. In a country where inflation hovers around 2% the increase in C&F prices of our mango in year 2000 over that of last year has been a phenomenal 20% which is an obvious disincentive for doing business with multiples who are engaged in price wars with each other.
  • With infrastructure even unbranded product can be successful. Over a period of time branding can be introduced on the strength of each supplying company.
  • We have the great advantage that our mango is good, our task would be much more difficult if we had everything else right but that nobody liked the mango!

A developing country supplier wishing to become a significant long term exporter to the UK and other EC markets must consider the necessity of investing in post harvest cool chain facilities such as field coolers, climate zed trucks, cool stores, packing facilities, traceability, and all the other equipment that goes to make up a modern fresh produce pack house. Major retail grocery groups are increasingly dominating overall market and remain open till after six, some for 24 hours six days a week and other even on Sunday. Almost all of our competing countries have developed technology with their advantage of cheap labour as well.

The `current initiative’, has potential if it has the backing of PHDEB. It cannot be achieved in a single mango season before launching a promotional campaign/branding of product the back up infrastructure must be in place.

There should be a two way communication between Commercial Officers and PHDEB. List of suppliers who have modern pack houses, chilling facilities and system of traceability should be prepared and they should be made market leaders for export.

Many small and poor countries have developed post harvest technologies, perhaps with EU or World Bank assistance/funding. Examples are Ghana and Ivory Coast. Pilot projects have been started in Pakistan and assistance of UNDP taken. There is an urgent need to find out why we haven’t been successful in post-harvest technology as desired by the EU market, and given the constraints, should we even aim for supermarkets.

PHDEB needs to work closely with few exporters and lead them to breaking into supermarkets with its Commercial Officers providing the foreign arm required for the purpose.