ISLAMABAD: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Friday urged Pakistan’s foreign missions to help sell the South Asian country’s delicious and wide variety of mangoes in the international market, amid a significant drop in the production this year.
Blistering temperatures due to climate change destroyed this season's mango crop by up to 60 percent and forced traders to curtail export target by 25,000 tons as compared to the last year. The South Asian nation is expected to earn around $106 million from the export of 125,000 tonnes of mangoes this year, according to exporters.
The foreign office along with businesses and civil society on Friday arranged a mango festival in Islamabad, which was attended by diplomats of different countries and other dignitaries. It showcased more than a dozen varieties of mango produced in Pakistan's Punjab and Sindh provinces as well as a number of cuisines made of the fruit pulp for the guests.
The event was part of a series of activities being organized to commemorate 75 years of the Pakistan’s independence from British rule and projected the country’s culinary and agrarian richness linked to the production of more than 200 varieties of mango that are exported all over the world.
“Pakistan has such a wide variety of the delicious fruit and we must work together in these challenging economic times to help Pakistani farmers get their product to the international market,” the foreign minister urged diplomats at the event.
“We believe that Pakistani mangoes are the best mangoes in the world. We must work together to ensure that all citizens of your countries have access to this treasure of Pakistan that is the Pakistani mango.”
Bhutto-Zardari said Pakistani mangoes were popular the world over due to their superior quality as well as the huge number of varieties being grown in the South Asian nation.
The embassies of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and China also established their stalls at the venue and presented their traditional mango delicacies for the visitors.
The UAE embassy stall presented different Middle Eastern sweet and food varieties, including Konafa, Basbousa and Mahalabia.
“We are trying to promote the Arabic traditional cuisine and food culture here with a taste of Pakistani mangoes,” Sardar Altaf, a UAE embassy chef who prepared the dishes, told Arab News.
Pakistan’s missions abroad were also organizing mango-tasting festivals in their host countries and showcasing the variety and richness of the Pakistani produce, the foreign office said.