Where the ongoing strike by goods transporters in Karachi has posed serious threats to the business industry in general, Pakistan’s mango exports, is going to suffer especially. The export is expected to begin next week. This season’s first mango export will start from 20th May. However, exporters are upset as the shipments are being stocked up at Karachi port.
The strike has entered the ninth consecutive day, today. Transporters are protesting against the restriction implemented by the Sindh High Court on heavy vehicles movement in Karachi’s area.
So far exports worth Rs48 billion have said to have been halted due to the strike. This also includes perishable items, implying businessmen are subjected to losses worth millions every day.
Transporter’s association and the Sindh government have failed to find a solution to this issue. Subsequently, it is making the matter worse for exporters who fear losing their shipments’ quality.
Regional Chairman of the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FPCCI) Standing Committee on Horticulture Exports, Ahmed Jawad stated:
“Perishable fruit and vegetable exports are taking a severe hit due to this strike. Now mango exports are also under threat”
The risk is bigger as Pakistan generates about $70 million from mango exports alone. However, it largely depends on the quality of fruits and the prevailing conditions in the international market. A large portion of Pakistani mangoes are exported to Dubai and then routed to other gulf nations.
The stakes will be higher if the strike continues
The export market of fruits and vegetables has already been under stress after the closure of Afghanistan border, but this strike has made the matter worse. Currently, the strike is piling up shipments at the port which is increasing the risk of fruit contamination due to its perishable nature. If the strike continues, not only mango exporters but the entire supply chain will suffer.
Waheed Ahmed, the former chairman of All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association, stated:
‘This matter will specially hamper the Sindhri crop, a special type of mango delicacy grown in Sindh.’
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Export of other vegetables such as garlic and potatoes is also under stress as even if the strike ends, the clearance of shipments will take a lot of time. The stakeholders are urging the Sindh government to take necessary action and prevent significant losses to the national exchequer.
The central body governing all chamber of commerce, FPCCI has also taken notice and asked the government to do the needful. The president of FPCCI, Zubair Tufail, while speaking at the Silk route conference said:
“We will go to the Supreme Court if the strike does not come to an end immediately”
He also added that the situation is alarming as the exporters are at the verge of losing billions of rupees. However, the authorities are not realizing the severity of the matter.