ISLAMABAD: US Ambassador Richard Olson and Commerce Secretary Qasim Niaz on Monday joined business owners and stakeholders to celebrate the unprecedented success of Pakistan’s mango sector.
According to a statement released by the US Embassy in Islamabad, the US government, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), has helped boost mango production and exports to international markets, leading to a 75 percent increase in farm revenues and the creation of hundreds of new jobs across Pakistan.
“The US government is supporting Pakistan’s mango farmers through infrastructure upgrades, new market opportunities, and access to international certifications,” said Ambassador Richard Olson, at the 2013 Annual Mango Conference and Festival in Islamabad. “This has led to increased mango sales of about $20.5 million, and a five-fold increase in exports of mangoes to international markets,” he added.
“We are thankful to the US government for their support to mango growers and producers that has led to increased productivity and jobs for Pakistani people. A relationship that is based on trade, not just aid, is one that we will look forward to in our relationship with the United States,” said Commerce Secretary Qasim Niaz.
The USAID Firms Project has invested $5.8 million in Pakistan’s mango sector, providing much-needed support for new infrastructure and marketing assistance to help farmers sell their products globally. Small- and medium-sized farms have also invested $1.6 million to work with USAID on developing commercially viable fresh and dried mango businesses.
Since 2009, the US government has invested more than $230 million to fund projects that support the growth of Pakistan’s agriculture sector, including training 31,000 people in Punjab and Sindh in dairy-related operations, vaccinating over 120,000 cattle against Foot and Mouth Disease, and helping 12,000 farmers in Balochistan increase their incomes by 40 percent by boosting production and sales.