by Cheng Xizhong
The El Nio phenomenon this year has led to abnormal hot and dry weather in many parts of the world, but the silver lining is that it results in a bumper mango harvest in some countries and, an ensuing oversupply.
Fruit market is experiencing intensive fluctuations, and there will be a situation of "low prices for grain hurt the peasants".
The so-called " low prices for grain hurt the peasants " is a classic economic issue. The possible solutions are as follows: first, Pakistani trade associations should build up their bargaining power to support mango sales prices; second, the government needs to set up a special fund to subsidize fruit growers. In this way, we can ensure the enthusiasm of the fruit growers stay unaffected.
Known as "oriental fruit basket", Pakistan is a big fruit producer. Now, other countries in South Asia, such as India and Bangladesh, and some countries in Southeast Asia are also major fruit producers.
In the past, China needs to import tropical fruits such as mango, but in recent years, tropical fruits have been planted in large quantities in southern provinces such as Guangxi and Hainan. In most Asian countries, including China, fruit supply has exceeded demand.
Deep processing and holding Mango Festival are solutions to this problem, but there are more scientific options.
In order to make mango more competitive, China has mainly adopted five measures:
First, open up more sales channels. In addition to wholesale fruit dealers, consumers can also buy mango from retailers, or more conveniently, shop on e-commerce platform.
Second, encourage supply chain enterprises to invest in fruit production bases for mutual benefits.
Third, steadily establish a modern production system. Only by establishing large-scale bases can we better introduce modern technology, cultivate more popular categories through science and technology, and forecast through big data, produce fruits that consumers like, control and improve quality.
Fourth, improve logistics and cold chain facilities, build roads, large warehouses and wholesale markets to facilitate transportation, storage and sale of fruits.
Fifth, establish commercial brand. Fruit bases and growers gradually establish their own commercial brand, which helps to enhance the competitiveness of products by value addition.
I believe that the above-mentioned measures can serve as references for Pakistan.
At present, Xinjiang in Northwest China bordering Pakistan has opened four green channels for rapid customs clearance of agricultural products with neighboring Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan. As far as I know, the Xinjiang autonomous region government planned to open a green channel for the rapid customs clearance of agricultural products with Pakistan and Mongolia in 2017. This trade facilitation measure can greatly shorten the clearance time for the import and export of agricultural products.
After the opening of green channel at the Khunjerab Pass, six green channels will be formed from north to south in Xinjiang, which will achieve rapid customs clearance of agricultural products with five neighboring countries. China has a positive attitude towards opening the green channel with Pakistan, but it has not been opened up yet. Maybe some of our Pakistani friends know the reason.
To solve the problem of " oversupply" of mangoes, deep processing is an effective way, as mangoes can be made into drinks and dried mangoes,etc.
The storage and packaging of agricultural products, including fruits, will be gradually solved as the construction of Pakistan's Industrial Park continues to advance. In the process of building industrial parks, we should also actively consider this issue.
Mango is "king of fruits". Both China and Pakistan are major producers and consumers of mangoes. China has advanced agricultural technology and fruit storage, packaging and deep processing technology. Therefore, there is bright prospects for relevant enterprises in China and Pakistan to develop mango technology cooperation.
(Cheng Xizhong, Special Commentator of China Economic Net, Visiting Professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law，Senior Fellow of the Chahar Institute)