The fourth International Mango Festival 2019 organized by MNS University of Agriculture, Multan in collaboration with Mango Research Institute, Multan and Pakistan Human Development Foundation was inaugurated by Provincial Minister for Agriculture Punjab Malik Nauman Ahmad Langriyal. Prof. Dr. Asif Ali Vice Chancellor, MNSUAM, High Commissioner Federal Republic of Nigeria, Mr. Ashimiyu Adebaya Olaniyi, and High Commissioner of Indonesia, Mr. Iwan Suyudhie Amri accompanied the minister in inaugural ceremony.
Addressing to the audience at Mango Festival inaugural ceremony the Minister Nauman Langriyal showed his pleasure to join the this festival. The festival has contributed well for increasing the export of mango. He highlighted that mango is grown on 412 thousand and 5 hundred acres of land in Pakistan with an annual production of 1.735 million tons. Whereas 70% mango production is contributed by Punjab Province. About 200 varieties of mango are cultivated in Pakistan including Dusehri, Sidhari, Langra, Ratool, Chaunsa, etc. Mango is the second largest fruit produce of Pakistan after citrus. Almost every district of Punjab grow mango. Our mango is popular in Pakistan as well as global markets particularly Middle East, Britain and Europe due to its taste and aroma. Now our mango is the cheapest in international markets as compared to other countries. The Minister praised the efforts of MNSUAM for improving the production and export quality of regional mango and linking the producers with international markets. He emphasized that the participation of ambassadors from different countries and stakeholders from public and private sector will contribute in increasing the export of the region. The Minister informed that the government has started working on new plans for the improvement of agricultural production and profitably with higher exports which will contribute in poverty alleviation.
The Vice Chancellor MNS University of Engineering and Technology Multan, Prof. Dr. Amir Ijaz Malik said that the government is completely aware of the trade situation and searching new international markets for export of mango. He said the taste of Pakistani mangoes is unique in the world. We are in a transformation stage from traditional to technological approaches for improving production practices, postharvest measures and increased export of good quality fruit. Further, he upraised the efforts of MNSUAM for mango.
The Vice Chancellor MNSUAM, Prof. Dr. Asif Ali said that mango is the king of fruits and according to an estimate it has about 4000 years old history in subcontinent. These days about 149 kalmi varieties and 1000 desi varieties are cultivated in the world. Almost 25 million tons mango is produced in the world where Pakistan, India, Brazil, China, Nigeria, Mexico, and Thailand are among top 10 mango producing countries. The University is establishing new footings for mango production and introduced High Density Mango Plantation (Small Tree System) in the region. About 1300 plants per acre can be cultivated in Small Tree System with export quality harvest. The University has planted a model farm of mango for farmers. Adoption of this technology will substantially increase the mango production. The Vice Chancellor further said that festival is not only the gathering of mango growers, experts and exporters; it is also a source of information and entertainment for local community. Different entertainment programs have been arranged to create festivity for local community in very warm Multan.
At the occasion many dignitaries like Member National Assembly Mr. Muhammad Khan Daha, Member Provincial Assembly Haji Atta Ur Rehman, Member Provincial Assembly Ms. Shahida Ahmed, Chairman Multan Development Authority Rana Abdul Jabbar, Pro-Vice Chancellor Prof. Dr. Ishtiaq Ahmad Rajwana, Director General Pest Warning Sayed Zafar Yab Haider, Director Mango Research Institute Multan Dr. Hameed Ullah, Senior Member Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry Khawaja Farooq and many other were present. More than 70 stalls were arranged by mango growers, mango processing industry and exporters for the visitors and general public. Moreover, fun land for children, Food Street and entertainment programs were arranged for three days of the festival.
Various mango festivity activities including quiz, games, kids mango eating competition, musical chair for kids, entertainment, face painting, mango walk, cultural walk and mango drawing, puppet show, mascots and jokers, traditional drum beating (Dhol) were part of this festival. The students of MNSUAM presented various performances e.g. dramas/skits, songs, dance, tablos etc. On second day of the event, Student Peace Conference was also held to hone the leadership skill of the students and enable them to embrace the future challenges in a better way. In evening, a ‘Peace Mushaira’ was also held wherein popular poets of Punjab presented their poetry to promote peace and harmony. On third day of the event, a competition on ‘Mango Dish Making’ was also organized wherein students from different educational institutes, house-wives and restaurants’ staff participated and made multiple mango dishes with unique recipes. The event was open for local communities and families to visit the exhibition and get information on different mango varieties and participate in the festivity activities.
Overall, this event provided a valuable opportunity for awareness, branding and networking in mango production, supply and value chains. The stakeholders of mango industry were brought together across the country and discussions were made to overcome prevailing challenges, identify crucial gaps and explore options to improve the value and net income of the supply chain partners. More than 100 indigenous and exotic mango cultivars being grown in Southern Punjab region were displayed at the festival. About 70 stakeholders including growers, exporters, processors, nursery owners, fertilizer companies/dealers, pesticide companies, banks and several other organizations/firms etc. displayed their products on stalls. Approximately, more than 20,000 people visited the 3-day festival.