Rave reviews as Pakistan Mango Festival opens in Dubai

The Sindhri and Chausa are the most loved mangoes. Each variety differs in size, colour, taste and texture. (Photo Courtesy: Online)
Updated 12 July 2019
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Rave reviews as Pakistan Mango Festival opens in Dubai

  • Some 19 varieties of mango are being displayed at the first of its kind event
  • The next destination of the king of fruits will be Saudi Arabia

KARACHI/DUBAI: The three-day Pakistan Mango Festival kicked off in Dubai on Thursday to overwhelming response, officials said on Friday, in a first of its kind event organized by the Consulate General of Pakistan.
The Pakistani Consulate has invited diplomats, members of the business community, representatives of the chambers of commerce, importers and exporters to the festival to promote Pakistani mangoes in the Middle East and other gulf countries. The event, which was held at Palazzo Versace Dubai, featured varieties of food especially prepared using delectable Pakistani mangoes.
“This is the first time [we have organized such an event] and the response is very positive,” Ahmad Amjad Ali, Consul General of Pakistan in Dubai, who inaugurated the festival, told Arab News via phone on Friday. “As the festival kicked off everybody who came to know about it now wants to come. Some 19 varieties of mangoes are being displayed.”
“Many local Arabs who did not know about Pakistani mangoes are being introduced to the Pakistani varieties. Now they have come to know what the Pakistani mango is and they are appreciative,” Ali said. 
The next destination of the king of fruits will be Saudi Arabia.
“Promotion of mangoes in Saudi Arabia is on next year’s promotion calendar,” said Muhammad Ashraf, Spokesman of Ministry of Commerce and CEO of the Pakistan Horticulture Development & Export Company (PHDEC).
Pakistan is expecting to export 100,000 metric tons of mangoes this fiscal year (FY20) as the country expects a “mango crop size of 1.8 million tons.”
This year PHDEC will also promote Pakistani mangoes in the United Kingdom, Belgium, the UAE and China, as well as citrus in China and Indonesia and dates in Turkey, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Nepal. 
Pakistan exporters are confident that this promotional branding of the Pakistani mango will help them achieve their export targets.
“Such promotional activities help in the export of fruits from Pakistan,” said Waheed Ahmed, Patron-in-Chief of the All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable, Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA). “Through such activities exporters also get orders from importers of fruits.”
This year mango exports from Pakistan started from May 20, 2019, with the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Gulf Cooperation Council countries and far eastern countries, including China, being the major destinations of the fruit. 
“Last year 75,000 tons of mango was exported from Pakistan; this year, the country is expected to earn $80 million by exporting 100,000 tons of mango during the current season,” PFVA’s Ahmed said, adding that markets in China and the United States would be the major focus of exports this year. 
Famous commercial scale varieties of the Pakistani mango are Chaunsa, Sindhri, White Chaunsa, Dusehri and Anwar Ratool while many other varieties, including Langra, Saroli, Samar Bahisht, Fajri, Neelum, Alphanso and Almas, are also grown in the country.
“We have registered 10 commercially important varieties of mango while two are in process,” said Dr. Hamidullah Khan, a director at the Mango Research Institute in the city of Multan. “There are hundreds of varieties in the country and many are being developed.”


South Korea becomes first country to support WHO fight HIV outbreak in Sindh

Updated 19 July 2019
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South Korea becomes first country to support WHO fight HIV outbreak in Sindh

  • Despite Seoul’s decision to contribute $100,000, UN health agency continues to face a significant funding gap
  • Around 935 people, including 760 children, have been reported infected by the virus since April

ISLAMABAD: South Korea will extend humanitarian assistance worth $100,000 in cash to help control the outbreak of the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province, the World Health Organization, which will channel the funds to the South Asian nation, said on Friday.
Spread mainly in the Larkana district of Sindh, HIV had infected 935 people in total as of July 13, including 760 children under the age of 15.
WHO Representative in Pakistan, Dr. Palitha Mahipala, met South Korean Ambassador Kwak Sung-kyu in Islamabad earlier this month, and sought his support to deal with the HIV outbreak. Korean authorities in Seoul responded positively and said they would help the WHO fight the spread of the virus.
According to a media statement, WHO will continue to face a huge funding gap despite South Korea’s commitment since its project requires $4.5 million for the next two years to deal with the epidemic.
“I expect that other governments and international NGOs will join South Korea in supporting WHO’s efforts in responding to the HIV outbreak in Pakistan,” Ambassador Kwak was reported to have said.
“WHO highly appreciates the valuable support made by the government of the Republic of Korea enabling WHO to scale up its response to the HIV affected population in Larkana district,” Palitha said during her meeting with the South Korean ambassador.
The spread of HIV in Ratodero, on the outskirts of Larkana, was first detected by medical practitioners in April this year. Since then, health authorities have screened thousands of people to determine the scale of the problem.
In rural Sindh — long bridled by harsh poverty and illiteracy — access to information about HIV and other diseases has kept the large swathes of the population in the dark about how the virus is transmitted. Healthcare facilities in the province are meagre and negligence by inadequately-qualified doctors is common.
At the heart of the current crisis is one paediatrician, Dr. Muzaffar Ghangharo, who used contaminated syringes while treating his patients in Ratodero, police officials have said. Dr. Muzaffar Ghanghro was arrested on April 30 and has been charged with unintentional murder.
Senior Sindh police officer Sartaj Jagirani told Arab News last month that 123 infected children, whose family members had recorded their statements with police, had been treated by Ghangharo.