dal crises? Why are prices of dal, tomatoes. potatoes and other essential foods rising rapidly in India? What is Modi government doing to increase supply and ease rising food inflation in the country? What are its chances of success in short and long term?
Why are Pakistani mangoes becoming more easily and widely available in America? Are Pakistan mango exports finally ramping up? What took so long for Pakistani mangoes to arrive in significant quantities in Silicon Valley? Can 6 million strong Pakistani diaspora's demand drive greater Pakistani exports of mangoes and food other items?
Viewpoint From Overseas host Faraz Darvesh discusses these questions with panelists Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)
Terror in Bangladesh & Turkey; India's Curry... by ViewpointFromOverseas
Terror in Bangladesh & Turkey; India's Curry & Dal Crises; Pakistani Mangoes in America from Ikolachi on Vimeo.
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ISIS suicide bomber kills at least 125 including 15 children after blowing up truck laden with explosives outside packed Baghdad shopping centre
ISIS suicide bomber fanatic blew up truck laden with explosives outside packed shopping centre in central Baghdad
The streets of Iraqi capital were packed with young people and families at the end of the holy month of Ramadan
Up to 125 people killed including children while 170 were injured in the attack but death toll is expected to climb
Deadly explosion was followed shortly after by second attack which claimed the lives of five people and wounded 16
Dhaka attack is likely carried out by Paki ISI supported Jamaat elements who are angered by hanging of pro-Pakistan leaders involved in war crimes during Bangladesh liberation war.
@bhatia: Are you tarek fatah ?
Bhatia: "Dhaka attack is likely carried out by Paki ISI supported Jamaat elements who are angered by hanging of pro-Pakistan leaders involved in war crimes during Bangladesh liberation war. "
I know that Indian hawks have persuaded Shaikh Hasina that Pakistan is the source of all evil and JI and BNP are ISI agents.
Such thinking is being seen by the rest of the world as myopic. Suppressing all political dissent might help Hasina consolidate her power in Bangladesh in the short term but it poses a serious long-term threat to the security and stability of Bangladesh.
Hasina needs to recognize that squeezing moderate Islamists like JI will drive further radicalization in the country and create even larger space for international terrorist organizations like Al Qaesda and ISIS.
How food inflation has removed #dal, #potato & #tomato from the plate of aam aadmi in #Modi's #India via @indiacom
Last year it was onion that made the middle-class cry. This year soaring price of tomatoes, potatoes and pulses have made the life of aam aadmi difficult.
Last year it was onion that made the middle-class cry. This year soaring price of tomatoes, potatoes and pulses have made the life of aam aadmi difficult. Despite government’s efforts to control the prices of essential commodities, a huge increase in the cost of tomatoes, potatoes, arhar dal and urad dal has largely hit the common man of the country.
According to the Wholesale Price Index or WPI data released on Tuesday, vegetable inflation rose sharply from 2.21 per cent in April to 12.94 per cent the next month. The inflation level at highest in 19 months. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held a high level meeting to fix the strategy to keep prices in check which was attended by Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari, Food Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian. (ALSO READ: Pulses costlier due to poor rainfall, reduced imports: Ram Vilas Paswan)
Rising Inflation: The rising prices of vegetables are major concern. Due to crop damage, Tomato prices have doubled to an average Rs. 80 a kilogram across the country. In Hyderabad, tomatoes are being sold at Rs 100 per kilogram. Potato prices are up to almost Rs 20 per kilogram. Drought situation is several parts of the India, production of pulses were badly hit last year. Country’s pulses production is estimated to be 17.06 million tonnes in 2015-16 crop year, while the demand of pulses in India is pegged at 23.5 tonnes.
According to data published by the department of consumer affairs and the National Horticulture Board, prices of tomatoes have increased by 100-200 per cent in most cities between April and June this year. Crop damage in West Bengal and a dip in production have risen the prices of potatoes in the country.
Price rise of pulses: Pulses inflation has remained in double digits since January 2015. Arhar dal is currently costing as much as Rs 170 per kilogram. Urad dal is selling for as high as Rs 196 per kilogram. “In the last two years, arhar dal prices have doubled and the cost of urad has increased by around 120 per cent. Even the price of chana dal, which is produced in large quantities and is usually unaffected by inflation, has risen 85% in this period, in Delhi,” a Times of India report said.
Following are today’s pulses rates (in Rs per quintal): Urad Rs 10,800-12,300, Urad Chilka (local) Rs 11,100-11,200, Urad best Rs 11,200-11,700, Dhoya Rs 11,600-11,900, Moong Rs 6,200-6,800, Dal Moong Chilka local Rs 6,750-7,150, Moong Dhoya local Rs 7,150-7,650 and best quality Rs 7,650-7,850. Masoor small Rs 6,050-6,350, bold Rs 6,100-6,400, Dal Masoor local Rs 6,600-7,100, best quality Rs 6,700-7,200, Malka local Rs 7,000-7,300, best Rs 7,100-7,400, Moth Rs 5,500-5,900, Arhar Rs 9,200, Dal Arhar Dara Rs 12,100-13,800.
Gram Rs 7,000-7,500, Gram dal (local) Rs 7,150-7,450, best quality Rs 7,600-7,700, Besan (35 kg), Shakti Bhog Rs 3,100,Rajdhani Rs 3,100, Rajma Chitra Rs 5,600-6,950, Kabuli Gram small Rs 8,000-9,500, Dabra Rs 2,700-2,800, Imported Rs 4,700-5,100, Lobia Rs 5,400-5,600, Peas white Rs 3,400-3,425 and green Rs 3,600-3,700.
Why are the mangoes very expensive?
#BangladeshAttack perpetrators were radicalized youth of the upper class elite of the country's capital #Dhaka
DHAKA, Bangladesh — Bangladesh’s capital city reeled in shock on Sunday as clues began to flood social media about the privileged backgrounds of the half-dozen attackers believed to have butchered 20 patrons of a restaurant during a bloody siege here late last week.
The six attackers were killed when the army stormed the Holey Artisan Bakery to end an 11-hour siege early Saturday.
The police declined to name the young men because nobody had shown up as of Sunday night to identify their bodies, but friends and relatives recognized photographs that were posted on a messaging app by the Islamic State, along with praise for the violence.
The men, all in their late teens or early 20s, were products of Bangladesh’s elite, several having attended one of the country’s top English-medium private schools as well as universities both in the country and abroad.
Among them was the son of a former city leader in the prime minister’s own Awami League, the governing party.
“That’s what we’re absolutely riveted by,” said Kazi Anis Ahmed, a writer and publisher of the daily newspaper The Dhaka Tribune. “That these kids from very affluent families with no material want can still be turned to this kind of ideology, motivated not just to the point of killing but also want to be killed.”
That children of the country’s upper classes appear to have joined militant Islamists in an act of such brutality highlighted the radicalization among the largely moderate Muslim population here, a process that has accelerated in recent years.
The attackers intended to kill foreigners, whom they shot and then hacked with sharp weapons, blaming them for hampering the progress of Islam, one of the hostages later said.
For more than three years now, Islamist militants have murdered atheist bloggers, members of religious minorities and others. The Islamic State and a regional branch of Al Qaeda have claimed responsibility for the killings, although the Bangladeshi government continues to insist that local groups were responsible.
The involvement of the Islamic State appeared increasingly more likely during the latest attack, with the organization not only claiming responsibility but later posting the photographs of the men believed to have carried it out.
Some of the rescued hostages remained in police custody on Sunday evening, including a Bangladeshi couple and their two school-aged children who witnessed the massacre, their relatives said.
The country was in the midst of a two-day mourning period declared by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, but in the homes of the young men who had been identified as the attackers on social media, families struggled with grief, shame and disbelief.
On Sunday, the police telephoned Meer Hayet Kabir, an executive with a foreign company in Dhaka, asking him to go to the military hospital morgue to identify a body that was possibly that of his 18-year-old son, Meer Saameh Mubasher.
He said he just could not bear to make the trip.
“How will we arrange a funeral for him in these circumstances?” he asked in an interview in his family’s apartment in a wealthy neighborhood close to the diplomatic district. “Who will come?”
“I will have to apologize to the whole world on behalf of my son,” he said.
Mr. Kabir had already been in close touch with the police since Mr. Mubasher disappeared on Feb 29.
After Independence, India achieved strong political union with 29 states (provinces) & 7 Union Territories integrating over 550 princely states. It is a remarkable political union with progressive transformation of society with measures like abolition of Landlords, affirmative action against disadvantaged & social welfare measures. However, Economic union is not yet fully achieved. Goods & agricultural produce can not move freely between one state to another & even into a city within a province unless taxes at the entry & exit points are paid. That causes delay, wastage & unnecessary rise in prices. Recently onions were sold at one district of MP at less than a Rupee but 30 times its price in Delhi. This is reverse of EU which achieved Economic Union without achieving political union. Like the US, the opposition Congress party with majority in the Upper House has blocked Modi Govt’s plan to introduce GST, a one time tax at place of produce with free movement of goods & services creating common market across India. This simple method can cut down inflation & raise GDP by more than 1% but this progressive measure is yet to see the light of the day. Off course there are problems at production level too while rising income levels have also increased consumption & wastage of food items. Till these issues are addressed, price of some items shall rise exponentially giving plenty of ammunition to the opponents .
Bhatia: "Goods & agricultural produce can not move freely between one state to another & even into a city within a province unless taxes at the entry & exit points are paid. "
I don't think India's current food problems are related to distribution; the real issue is insufficient production and supply due to multi-year drought. Indian farmers are heavily dependent on good monsoon rains. That's why an Indian farmer kills himself or herself every 30 minutes. Only 35% of India's farm land is irrigated versus over 70% of farm land in Pakistan. http://www.riazhaq.com/2013/11/indias-agrarian-crisis-farmer-commits.html
Ijaz: "Why are the mangoes very expensive? "
Watch the video discussion to find out.
#Dutch FrieslandCampina buys #Engro Foods. Targets world's 3rd largest milk market (38 billion liters) in #Pakistan
FrieslandCampina has acquired 51 % of Engro Foods Limited, the second largest dairy producer in Pakistan. It enables the company to take a major leap forward in Central Asia.
Shift to packaged dairy
Pakistan is the third largest milk-manufacturing country in the world, with 38 billion liters on an annual basis. FrieslandCampina wants to take advantage of the shift to packaged dairy products in Pakistan: not even 10 % of milk consumption comes from processed and packaged milk in Pakistan, but FrieslandCampina expects that to change in the near future.
“Thanks to this well-organized and very successful company, we have obtained a strong position in the Pakistani dairy market. A growing middle class is switching to processed and packaged milk in Pakistan and Engro Foods provides a platform to build on. This acquisition will contribute to the value proposition we want to give our member dairy manufacturers. We will also help develop the agricultural industry in Pakistan with our extensive knowledge on the dairy manufacturing process and thanks to our Dairy Development Programme", CEO Roelof Joosten said.
“This is a very important event for us. Engro Foods has been very successful ever since its launch in 2006 and has since become one of the most respected companies in Pakistan. Our FrieslandCampina collaboration will definitely have a huge impact on the dairy value chain in Pakistan and will also enable Engro Foods to present the consumer with additional value thanks to an improved product range, while it will also help improve our innovation levels", Engro CEO Babur Sultan added.
#Dutch company acquires 51% stake in #Pakistan's #Engro for over $448m to target world's 3rd largest milk market
KARACHI: Engro Corporation has signed an agreement with a Netherlands-based dairy company for the sale of up to 51% shareholding in Engro Foods at an estimated price of $448 million, a securities filing said on Monday.
Engro Corporation currently controls approximately 87% shareholding in Engro Foods while the general public owns the remaining outstanding shares. The deal will take place at Rs120 per share, which reflects a discount of about 26% to Engro Foods’ current share price of Rs163.
The majority stake in Engro Foods will be bought by a legal entity in which Dutch dairy cooperative FrieslandCampina will hold approximately 80% shares. International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Dutch development bank FMO will hold the remaining shares in the legal entity.
The share price of Engro Corporation rose 1.4% to Rs337.6 on Monday while the stock of Engro Foods shed 5% to close at Rs155.17 per share.
Engro Fertilizers CEO says Rs390 cut expected
Engro Corporation said in a statement it will stay on as a “significant partner and shareholder” under the new company structure. The stake of Engro Corporation in Engro Foods will likely be around 36% post-transaction.
The Dutch company is required under the local takeover laws to make an attempt to purchase at least half of the shareholding currently owned by the general public.
The provision is supposed to ensure that ordinary shareholders also benefit in case the sponsors of a listed company sell their stake in a major deal. This means general investors will also have a chance to avail the public offer extended by FrieslandCampina to sell at least half of their 13% current holding in Engro Foods.
In a statement on Monday, FrieslandCampina said it expects to benefit from the conversion of the Pakistani market from loose to packaged dairy consumption. At present, less than 10% of tradable milk consumed in Pakistan is processed and offered in packages, it said. The conversion is expected to accelerate in the near future as a result of the growing middle-income class, a desire for higher quality milk as well as the increasing urbanisation, it added.
Topline Securities said Engro Corporation will generate cash of around Rs47 billion, part of which will most likely be invested in energy-related projects with a higher rate of return.
Engro Foods contributed more than a quarter in the corporation’s revenues last year. Therefore, its sale will result in a decline of around Rs4 per share in the holding company’s earnings, as per the workings of Topline Securities.
“However, this decline will be compensated if the sale proceeds are either put in the bank or used to pay off debt. As of the latest quarterly accounts, Engro had Rs72 billion of debt on its books,” it said.
#ISIS attack in #Dhaka #Bangladesh shows broad reach as 'caliphate' feels pressure | Dhaka Tribune https://shar.es/1lcWNS via @sharethis
Over the weekend ISIS dispelled any doubts that it was behind the terror attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh. In doing so, the group provided another example of its growing footprint in Asia -- and opened up another theater in its contest with al Qaeda.
Both groups have been trying to raise their profile in Bangladesh by taking advantage of growing Islamist militancy there. They have co-opted or affiliated with home-grown jihadist groups. Al Qaeda has formed a branch -- al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent - which includes Bangladesh. And elsewhere in Asia, ISIS is trying to establish a growing presence as it comes under pressure in its heartland.
Late Saturday, ISIS released photographs of the alleged attackers and of the scene inside the café before Bangladeshi forces moved in. Photographs posted by ISIS-affiliated media outlet Amaq include gruesome scenes that appear to be from inside the café. The decor matches that of the Holey Artisan Bakery; the victims appear to have died from neck wounds -- which is consistent with what Bangladeshi authorities have reported about the scene.
As if in answer to the ISIS statement, al Qaeda shot back Sunday with its own call to action. A message from the leader of al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), Asim Umar, was released on Sunday inciting Muslims to kill Hindu police and officials in India."Even if you come out carrying merely knives and swords then -- history bears witness -- Hindus cannot withstand you," he said in the Urdu-language audio.
AQIS has also begun publishing an online magazine called Resurgence that has called for attacks in Bangladesh, while al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri has called on Bangladeshi clerics to lead protests and encourage martyrdom.
Bangladesh has seen growing Islamist militancy since 2013, in reaction to a crackdown by the secular government against the main Islamist party -- the Jamaat e Islami. Four of its leading figures have been executed for crimes allegedly committed during Bangladesh's war of independence from Pakistan in 1971.
That militancy has led to the murders of secular bloggers and gay rights activists, as well as Hindu priests, over the past two years. Many of those attacks have been claimed by a group called Ansar al Islam, the Bangladesh part of AQIS.
By comparison, attacks attributed to ISIS sympathizers have targeted foreigners. In late 2015, ISIS claimed that its gunmen -- "Soldiers of the Caliphate in Bangladesh" -- were behind the murders of an Italian aid worker and Japanese citizen in Bangladesh.
Like those killings, the Dhaka attack appears to have been carried out by Bangladeshis. But it was far more ambitious and ISIS -- at some level - appears to have had foreknowledge of the plan. The sole surviving attacker may provide greater detail about that relationship, but equally the assailants may have been foot soldiers, with communication carried out at a higher level.
The evidence of ISIS involvement runs counter to repeated claims by the government that there is no ISIS presence in Bangladesh. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed said in February: "No (ISIS) exists in Bangladesh, but a few home-grown outfits in the name of Islam are conducting terrorist activities."
Analyst Animesh Roul says, "The threat picture is darkening, especially because Bangladesh's government has not acknowledged the presence of transnational groups."
Roul, who is director of the Society for the Study of Peace and Conflict in Delhi, says ISIS may be exploiting the presence in its ranks of dozens of Bengalis, including some from Britain.
In a report for Sentinel, the journal of West Point's Combating Terrorism Center, Roul says there's been a blitz of ISIS propaganda targeted at Bangladesh, including a eulogy in the most recent edition of its online magazine Dabiq for a fighter called Abu Jundal al-Banghali.
Mr. Cemendtaur seems to be quantitatively challenged. It seems he cannot differentiate between averages and individuals. Just because a few of his Indian friends eat meat doesn't mean the average consumption of meat in India is the same as Pakistan, and the same for dal. As Riaz Haq says, the DATA shows thate average consumption of meat is lower, and dal is higher in India than in Pakistan. Mr. Cemendtaur, you made "much ado about nothing".
Ehsan Mani fears #Bangladesh cricket may suffer #Pakistan's predicament after #DhakaAttack http://www.cricbuzz.com/cricket-news/81049/ehsan-mani-fears-bangladesh-may-suffer-pakistans-predicament … via @cricbuzz
Ehsan Mani, former International Cricket Council (ICC) president, feels that Bangladesh will find it difficult to convince international teams to visit its shores for cricket tournaments due to the prevalent security concerns that have arisen following a terrorist attack in Dhaka earlier this week.
The incident happened at an upscale cafe in the country's capital, where close to 20 foreigners were killed, immediately raising doubts over England's tour of Bangladesh later this year.
"After what happened in Dhaka I fear that like Pakistan, the Bangladesh board will also find it difficult to convince teams to tour their country," Mani was quoted as saying by PTI. "I am concerned that Bangladesh cricket might also be hit hard by terrorism like Pakistan cricket has suffered in the last few years.
"At a time when foreigners were killed in the attack it will be difficult for Bangladesh to convince England to play the series. Don't forget West Indies under-19 team returned home from Bangladesh due to security concerns some years back while Australia also pulled out of the ICC Youth World Cup this year," he added.
Meanwhile, Mani slammed the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for not taking a harder stand against the ICC. Pakistan, who have not hosted India in a bilateral series since 2007, are said to be facing financial difficulties due to the lack of marquee matches against their arch-rivals. The former ICC chief reckoned that Pakistan should not play India in an ICC event, a game that usually garners the highest revenue in any multi-nation competition.
"I have said before the PCB must stop government interference and take strong decisions. It should refuse to play India in ICC events until the BCCI changes its policy on bilateral cricket series."
Mani also criticized the PCB for requesting a special fund from the ICC during the annual conference to compensate for the cricketing inactivity at home and said though Pakistan was losing out on revenue due to international teams not touring the country, they should improve the board's organisational structure and also stop government interference in its affairs.
"It is shameful what the PCB has done... it is very disappointing. Instead of going to the ICC with a begging bowl, the PCB should curtail and control its expenses. If the PCB is indeed facing a financial crisis it can take number of administrative steps to cope with the situation. They are nearly 1000 employees in the board is there need for this. Expenses must be curtailed,"he concluded.
Rizwan: "Mr. Cemendtaur seems to be quantitatively challenged. It seems he cannot differentiate between averages and individuals. Just because a few of his Indian friends eat meat doesn't mean the average consumption of meat in India is the same as Pakistan, and the same for dal. "
I find that many people, particularly our fellow desis, insist on pushing their opinions as valid even when evidence and data contrary to their beliefs are presented to them. Unfortunately, this applies even to people with science and engineering background who are supposed to be well versed in scientific method.
#Mozambique to grow arhar, urad #dal (pulses) for India's consumers http://toi.in/Eklw1a via @timesofindia
Mozambique will produce Indian varieties of pulses, mainly arhar and urad, to meet India's growing demand for dals . The Cabinet on Tuesday approved signing a long-term MoU with the African nation to double import of pluses from the present one lakh tonnes to two lakh tonnes by 2020-21.
Announcing the decision, IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the crop to be grown in Mozambique would taste like that of pulses raised in India. He said the pulses grown here taste different from the ones produced in other countries. Officials also said the look and taste of imported pulses did not find many takers in India.
Sources said the government will assist Mozambique by providing high quality seeds and technical assistance. TOI has learnt that New Delhi may even provide financial help and will also assure to buy all pulses grown there.
According to a government release, pulses from Mozambique will be imported through private channels or government-to-government (G2G) sales through state agencies nominated by the two countries. "The MoU will augment domestic availability of pulses in India and thereby stabilise its prices," the release added.
Under pressure to check spiralling prices of pulses , the government had sent two teams to Myanmar and Mozambique to explore options for getting the key kitchen item. While Myanmar had flatly told the delegation that they had no mechanism for G2G trade and they preferred the private route, Mozambique ....
#Pakistan journalist rediscovers #Karachi. Daal fry, qeema, parathas for breakfast in now peaceful Lyari http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/roads/2016/07/a_writer_rediscovers_her_hometown_of_karachi_pakistan.html?wpsrc=sh_all_dt_tw_top … via @slate
A writer rediscovers her hometown through cuisine and conversation.
By Annie Ali Khan
Getting to the neighborhood was not easy: Just a few years ago, Lyari was a “no go” area because of gangs and politically motivated violence. At 3 a.m., I found myself on the back of a motorcycle, clinging to the driver’s shoulders, trying not to fall off as the bike hopped over a speed breaker. No rickshaw wallah was going to agree to take me to Lyari at that hour. The chai shop’s signature dish, daal fry, is prepared early in the morning, and I was hoping to get a fresh plate and catch some of the regulars.
After having lived abroad for seven years, I have a little more than a trace of an American accent and am still in search of a place to settle in Karachi, getting by in temporary apartments. I feel like a stranger in the city where I was born. But I am returning as journalist, and there’s no better way to get to know a place than to write about it.
On my way, I saw a blank billboard emblazoned with the words “TO LET,” advertising only the opportunity to advertise on it. I remembered that my face had once looked down on the intersection from that same billboard. It had been my first big modeling job, a lifetime ago.
Back then, daal chawal (rice and lentils) was a diet staple because it kept my weight down. Since coming back, I’d heard about a variation on the dish being served at the Juna Masjid Malabari Hotel. Searching for a way to feel at home again, I knew that daal fry—a recipe served with hot, fried parathas—was a delicacy I had to try for myself.
Daal has neither the fancy Mughal airs of Biryani nor the aspirational cachet of fast food. In its basic form, it is a simple food of lentils cooked in ghee (clarified butter), with turmeric, garlic, cumin seeds, and blackened onion sprinkled on top. “Daal roti,” or daal with bread, is used in local vernacular to denote a life sans frills. In the afternoons, daal and rice is sold on street. A plate can cost anywhere from 20 to 50 rupees, roughly 50 cents. Bank clerks in loosened ties and laborers in their worn, discolored kameez can be seen eating by the roadside.
This ubiquitous South Asian dish comes in many forms. I think of the Hyderabadi daal my father used to ask my mother to make for his return from long flights as a pilot for the national carrier—a thick, rich central Indian variant of the dish. I also think of the simple, soupy daal I used to cook on rainy days in New York City.
On the ride over, all was quiet, and even the rustle of leaves of the neem trees could be heard. I mentioned it to my friend, Zain Ul-Abideen, who was driving the motorcycle. “It is peaceful,” he said. “But not too long ago, there was a war here. This place looked like Beirut.” As the motorcycle turned the corner toward our destination, two paramilitary soldiers in fatigues watched us warily from behind a nest of sandbags on the intersection’s corner.
Most of the people at the hotel are rickshaw drivers and factory workers who live in the area returning from a night shift. At the table next to me, four young men are wiping their plates clean. The server brings them greby (perhaps derived from the word gravy), a complimentary extra serving of curry offered by the hotel, used for dipping the last bits of paratha.
The adjoining mosque brings in worshippers returning from their early morning prayers. Outside, under the dim streetlight, I glimpse a group of women walking past. They are Baloch women, returning from a wedding, wearing heavy chadors that cover them from head to knee. It seems unlikely they’ll come inside; these establishments are largely the domain of men. The men walking with them stop inside, along with the wedding band, for a last celebratory meal before wrapping up their night,.
#Modi's #India should be aware it has an image problem: Nobel Laureate Economist Joseph E. Stiglitz http://m.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/india-should-be-aware-it-has-an-image-problem-joseph-e-stiglitz/article8816009.ece …
Economist and Nobel laureate Joseph E. Stiglitz believes India has much to do to improve its “image” abroad.
Mr. Stiglitz is in Bangalore to deliver a talk on “Global inequality: Causes and Consequences” along with economist Branko Milanivic.
During a media interaction on Wednesday, Mr. Stiglitz said the crackdown on non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and “harassment” of students - particularly the slapping of sedition charges against students of Jawaharlal Nehru University - had put India in a small club of authoritarian countries.
“India should be aware that it has an image problem. There are very few governments that have made it difficult for NGOs to operate or engage in harassment of universities. These events have had a strong effect on public opinion abroad. It puts the country in the club of countries such as Egypt, Russia and Turkey. Most people in India will not want to be in this group,” he said.
He believed that with India growing in an open global economy, it was “important for India to do a better job of explaining”.
With India showing growing inequality, Mr. Stiglitz warned that a situation, where the rich one per cent see tremendous growth while the rest see stagnating incomes, will eventually lead to leaders such as (Republican Presidential candidate) Donald Trump thriving.
To tackle economic inequality, he said there needs to be high growth, with lesser focus on inflation, and continuation and strengthening of welfare programmes such as NREGA (National Rural Employment Guarantee Act) in India.
#US #StateDepartment Doesn't Believe #India Has A 7.5% #GDP Growth Rate, Says #Modi Is All Hype, Slow Action #BJP
India's 7.5% growth rate may be "overstated", the US government has said, citing that the Narendra Modi government is "slow" to initiate economic reforms with the hyp. However, the government has appreciated measures taken by it in areas like bureaucracy and easing FDI restrictions.
The statement noted that India's many suggested reforms couldn't pass through Parliament in a report titled "Investment Climate Statements for 2016". This has resulted in many investors retreating slightly from their once forward-leaning support of the BJP-led government
These bills include lack of political support on a land acquisition bill in Parliament - the party is still negotiating with opposition parties the details of a Goods and Services Tax Bill, which if not watered down in negotiations, could streamline India's convoluted tax structure and provide an immediate boost to GDP.
"Ostensibly, India is one of the fastest growing countries in the world, but this depressed investor sentiment suggests the approximately 7.5 per cent growth rate may be overstated, said the report produced by the Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs of the State Department.
"I think India's GDP data is overstated," Morgan Stanley's (Ruchir) Sharma (who believes India's growth rate is 5-6%) told PTI. Indian economy grew 7.9% in the Q4, 2015-16, taking the overall GDP expansion to a 5-year high of 7.6 per cent for the fiscal. Sharma seemed fine with the overall investment in India, but "it has largely been supported by the government".
"#India's Growing At 5-6%, Less Than #Modi Government Claims" "#Pakistan's prospects bright" Morgan Stanley's Sharma
http://www.huffingtonpost.in/prabha-chandran/exclusive-india-will-rise_b_10750458.html … via @HuffPostIndia
Sharma says: "I think India is growing at a pace between 5 and 6%, or about two points lower than the government claims. That is a huge difference -- but these days a pace better than 5% is actually quite good, even for a relatively lower income country. At a time when slower population growth, high debts, falling growth in global trade and capital flows, and other forces are slowing the global economy, every class of nations needs to lower its expectations. It may be a long time before we see another emerging nation post growth in excess of 7-8% in this new era. The risk for India is that the state will try to push growth faster than is possible or practical, in this slow growth era"
"Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh all have bright prospects going forward, with credit growth under control, strong working-age population growth, inflation in check..."
Bromance aside, #Obama regime doesn’t really think much of #Modi’s performance or #India’s GDP figures http://qz.com/724502 via @qzindia
Narendra Modi’s “friendship” with US President Barack Obama doesn’t appear to be going in the direction that the Indian prime minister would like.
The American government has become the latest critic of the Modi government’s failure to deliver on its promises and raised doubts about the country’s estimates of its economic growth. The Indian government has been “slow to propose other economic reforms that would match its rhetoric, and many of the reforms it did propose have struggled to pass through parliament,” Washington noted in its Investment Climate Statements for 2016.
The Investment Climate Statements, prepared annually by US embassies and diplomatic missions, provide information on investment laws and practices in each region, specifically to aid American investors in their investment decisions.
Modi’s victory in 2014 was a turning point for investor sentiment in India. He had come to power with a complete majority, so most observers assumed his government would be able to implement reforms more smoothly. That hasn’t been the case. The Indian Parliament has failed to pass some key reforms, the US government said, citing examples of the land acquisition bill and the goods and services tax (GST) bill.
“This has resulted in many investors retreating slightly from their once forward-leaning support of the BJP-led government,” the report said.
In August 2015, opposition parties in the Indian parliament managed to stop a refurbished and contentious land acquisition bill that Modi and his government backed. This was a major setback for the “Make in India” campaign as acquiring land for factories continues to be a complex and painful procedure in the country. Projects worth Rs53,000 crore ($9 billion) are stuck due to land acquisition problems in India, according to some estimates.
The government is still negotiating details about GST with opposition parties. GST aims to streamline India’s convoluted tax structure and is likely to provide an immediate boost to the country’s GDP.
Given that several key reforms are yet to be implemented, the country’s claim as the fastest growing economy in the world may not be correct, the US government said. “Ostensibly, India is one of the fastest growing countries in the world, but this depressed investor sentiment suggests the approximately 7.5% growth rate may be overstated,” the report said.
The US isn’t first to doubt India’s GDP growth data. Many economists—and even the country’s central bank—have in the past voiced concerns over the new method of calculation that instantly increased the country’s GDP growth from 4.7% to 6.9% for the 2013-14 fiscal year.
The on-ground situation in India also indicates that all isn’t well. For instance, the pace of manufacturing growth is slow, private investments are yet to pick up, job creation is tepid and exports need a boost.
The report also warned potential investors of India’s sluggish legal system and complex business environment.
“Although India prides itself on its rule of law, the country ranks 178 out of 189 in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business Report in the category of enforcing contracts,” it said. “Its courts have cases backlogged for years, and by some accounts more than 30 million cases could be pending at various levels of the judiciary.”
Each of India’s 29 states and seven union territories has unique tax structures, labour laws, education levels and quality of governance, which means “investors must be prepared to face varied political and economic conditions,” the report said.
"White prejudice and discrimination keep the Negro low in standards of living, health, education, manners, and morals. This, in turn, gives support to white prejudice. White prejudice and negro standards thus mutually ‘cause’ each other." (Gunnar Myrdal, An American Dilemma, 1944)
Study Reveals Americans' Subconscious Racial Biases
A Swedish researcher found in 2010 that implicit bias against Muslims correlated strongly with the way hiring managers decided to interview either Swedes or Arabs for a position.
"Most of these implicit racial biases are consequence of subtle messages seen in the media, popular culture, that suggest one group is good, and another group is bad-- associating one group with crime, another group with accomplishment," Rich Morin, senior editor at Pew, told NBC News.
The highest level of implicit racial preference revealed in the entire study was among whites being tested for bias against Asian Americans, with 50% of whites tested in the study revealing a subconscious preference for other whites over Asians. Thirty percent of whites had no implicit bias, and 19% of whites had a subconscious preference for Asians.
The second highest level of implicit racial preference was among whites tested for bias against blacks, with 48% of whites recorded as having a subconscious preference for other whites over blacks. Twenty-seven percent of whites tested had no preference between whites and blacks, and 25% of whites preferred blacks.
A higher percentage of biracial black-white adults and biracial Asian-white adults displayed implicit bias in favor of whites, when compared to bias in favor of their respective minority group.
#Pakistan's high import tariff prevents #wheat imports. Government's high procurement price prevents exports http://bit.ly/29DOh3Q
Pakistan procured 6 million tonnes of wheat from the recently concluded wheat harvest, significantly lower than the 7.05 million tonnes target that was announced prior to the onset of harvest, but approximately 1 million tonnes higher than a year ago. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) said in a July 1 report. Total procurement is just 24% of the estimated total crop. At this point, Pakistan is effectively cut off from the international wheat market as high procurement prices make exports uncompetitive and a high tariff prevents imports.
Over the past four years, public sector wheat procurement has ranged between 5 million tonnes to 6 million tonnes annually. With around 4 million tonnes in carryover stocks this year’s procurement will boost public stock levels to around 10 million tonnes shortly after the start of the marketing year, similar to the levels reached during the past two years.
The estimate of 2016 wheat production is unchanged at 25.3 million tonnes. About 25% of Pakistani wheat growers produce a marketable surplus that amounts to an estimated 50% of the crop or 12 million tonnes to 13 million tonnes. The government and private sector typically split the surplus with each purchasing about half of the marketed crop, although, as mentioned above, government procurement was just 24% of the crop this year. The balance of the crop remains on farm for local consumption. The government’s role in the procurement of the harvest is generally sufficient to influence market prices, creating an effective price floor in the domestic wheat market.
Pakistan, through the provincial food departments and the federal Pakistan Agricultural Storage and Services Corporation (PASSCO), procures wheat from farmers at the support price and then releases wheat for sale to flour mills at the government’s fixed issue price. The system aims to protect farmers from price fluctuations and ensure a minimum return to farmers and encourages wheat production. The Pakistani government maintained the wheat support price for the market year 2016-17 crop, at 1,300 rupees per 40 kilograms ($310 per tonne). The government spent approximately $1.8 billion for wheat procurement this year, much of it financed through loans that will be paid back when the wheat is sold to the private sector. Some wheat stocks are used to feed communities that have been displaced from their homes due to conflict and some is sold as flour at reduced rates to consumers via low-priced, government-run utility stores.
As global wheat prices have declined, Pakistan’s high sales price for publicly-held stocks has resulted in limited export buyer interest. In January 2015, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet approved a subsidy of $55 per tonne for Punjab and $45 per tonne for Sindh for Islamabad three months to cover exports of up to 1.2 million tonnes of wheat. The deadline was extended twice until Sept 30, 2015. ...
Afghanistan has been the main wheat export market for Pakistan for many years mainly due to easy accessibility and traditional trade linkages between the two countries. Given the present trend, Pakistan’s market year 2016-17 wheat flour exports to Afghanistan are forecast to be 700,000 tonnes (wheat equivalent).
The domestic wheat market has been insulated from imports by a 40% regulatory duty. With a high tariff and high domestic prices, Pakistan continues to be isolated from the international wheat market. The tariff is well below Pakistan’s bound tariff rate (the maximum tariff rate Pakistan can establish) for wheat of 150%. Consequently, Pakistan is not likely to import any significant quantity of wheat during market year 2016-17.
#Drought-hit #India back in global corn market. 2nd large import order after 2-decades of self-sufficiency. http://on.wsj.com/29SFhww via @WSJ
India, the world’s sixth-largest consumer of corn, said this past Sunday that it intends to import 500,000 tons of corn in hopes of bringing down local prices for the commodity. That would be more than twice the size of its 240,000-ton international order in April—its first corn imports since 1991.
“This is historic. India has not yet imported such a high volume,” said Deepak Chavan, an analyst at Farm Futures Pvt., a commodities consultancy. “A big market is being opened to the world.”
The government said it will invite bids next month for the new corn imports.
A global glut of corn—generated in part by huge stockpiles in the U.S. and shrinking demand in China—has slammed corn prices in the last five years. Global corn prices are more than 50% below a record price of $8.49 a bushel reached in 2012. India’s turnabout to become a major importer of corn could help counterbalance the challenges for the sector.
India consumes around 20 million tons of corn a year and uses it mostly in animal feed and to manufacture starch. The lion’s share of India’s corn exports have traditionally gone to Southeast Asia.
Corn imports and exports are restricted by New Delhi to protect the country’s farmers. Local farmers usually meet local demand and export the leftovers. But two consecutive years of drought have slashed production and eaten into stockpiles, pushing up domestic prices of corn by as much as 15% in the last year.
Corn production in India fell for the last two years because the June-through-September monsoon rains were well below average. Though the rains are looking much better so far this year, corn production is expected to continue to fall because farmers have planted less of it.
“There was hardly any crop during the last two years,” said Krishnarao Kale, a farmer in the western state of Maharashtra. “If the crop fails this year as well, I will stop growing corn.”
The biggest winners of India’s import drive could be the suppliers that can guarantee corn shipments without genetically modified corn, said Cole Martin, commodities analyst at BMI Research in Singapore. India prohibits the import of GMO corn.
“The Indian government will find its goal very challenging, if even possible,” because most corn producers use GMO varieties, he said.
Most of the corn from the big exporting countries such as the U.S., Brazil and Argentina is genetically modified. The nongenetically modified variety is available in Ukraine and some European countries, including France.
Rajiv Yadav, a grains and oilseeds analyst at Noble Natural Resources India Pvt. in New Delhi, said the Indian government needs to change its corn policy to be able to meet the country’s growing corn demand.
Allowing the planting of GMO seeds would increase India’s corn harvest, while allowing the import of GMO corn would free the country to import much more affordable corn, Mr. Yadav said.
#Bangladesh bakery attack mastermind is hiding in #India: Report http://toi.in/EUDJVa via @TOIWorld
A key aide to Bangladeshi PM Sheikh Hasina on Thursday indicated the government's willingness to share a dossier of "missing youths" with India, underlining the country's intent to jointly fight cross-border terror.
The comments by Gawhar Rizvi, a senior foreign affairs advisor to Hasina, follows a Dhaka Tribune report that claimed a key plotter in the July 1 Gulshan carnage slipped into West Bengal seven months before the attack. Investigators in Bengal have been on the lookout for a key JMB operative, Md Suleiman, whose name cropped up while questioning an IS operative Abu Al-Musa Al Bangali alias Musa arrested by the state CID from Burdwan 10 days ago. Suleiman was Musa's handler for the past two years.
Speaking at a conference on regional cooperation, Rizvi said Bangladesh was preparing a dossier on missing youths from the country and would share the information with India to help trace them. In this month's terror attack at Holey Artisan Bakery, three of the terrorists who hailed from affluent families in Dhaka had gone missing four to six months before the attack. Further investigations revealed that over 100 youths, most in their 20s, are missing from Dhaka.
The Dhaka Tribune report claimed the mastermind behind the Holey attack had slipped into India and was hiding somewhere in Bengal. "Investigators dealing with the dreadful Gulshan attack claimed to have identified the mastermind, saying he fled the country at least seven months ago after finalising the operation plan and is now hiding in West Bengal..." the report stated.
The Dhaka Tribune report claimed the mastermind behind the Holey attack had slipped into India and was hiding somewhere in Bengal. "Investigators dealing with the dreadful Gulshan attack claimed to have identified the mastermind, saying he fled the country at least seven months ago after finalising the operation plan and is now hiding in West Bengal..." the report stated.
Around the time of the "disappearance", sleuths here say Musa met Suleiman in Malda, a bordering district. The two had earlier met six times between 2014 and 2015.
BBC News - From #Iran to #India: The journey and evolution of #biriyani ("birinj biriyan" or fried rice). #Pakistan
Biriyani is the quintessential celebratory dish in India and an aromatic delicacy that dazzles as a sublime one-dish meal, writes historian and food expert Pushpesh Pant.
The 400-year-old city of Hyderabad is linked in popular mind for its signature biriyani as much as it is with the exquisitely constructed Charminar monument.
The biriyani may have become a local landmark, but that doesn't stop people from asking, "Where did it come to India from and when?"
The lazy "scholars" are quick to opine that it was the genius of Indian people who transformed the "Cinderella of Central Asian pilaff" into the sparkling biriyani, but it is difficult to buy this "thesis".
A pulav (as pilaff is called in India) is a pulav - call it by any name - and a biriyani is a biriyani - belonging to a very different species.
There can be little doubt that biriyani originated in Iran. Even the name biriyani can be traced to the original Persian "birinj biriyan" - literally, fried rice.
In Iran, the deg (pot) is put on dum (slow cooking to allow the marinated meat to cook in its own juices and perfectly with layered rice and aromatic substances), and the rice is gently fried.
The doyenne of Islamic cooking in India, Salma Hussein, tells us however that the biriyani sold on the streets in contemporary Iran no longer contains rice and has evolved into succulent chunks of meat cooked in an envelope of rumali roti (paper thin bread).
But the dish has also evolved in India, where it has a colourful and varied history.
There is no evidence that biriyani first came to this land with the Moguls. It is far more probable that it travelled with pilgrims and soldier-statesmen of noble descent to the Deccan region in south India.
It was only much later that the dish meandered along less travelled roads, along the seaboard and the hinterland of the peninsula, donning different local garbs to tickle regional palates.
Dailytimes | #Pakistan exports 201,000kg #mushrooms worth $12.930m in 2016 - #Vegetable #exports http://go.shr.lc/2hTlH6L via @Shareaholic
Pakistan exported around 201,000 kilograms (kg) of mushroom with a total export price of $12.930 million in 2016. Not only was the increase in the value of mushroom exports phenomenal but mushroom exports also contributed over 25 percent to the overall vegetables exports of over $101 million the same year.
In Pakistan, mushrooms are grown in farm houses, including but not limited to state owned national logistic cell. Farm production contributes around 1 percent to overall mushroom exports, while the rest of it comes from natural production in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The global mushroom production according to Food and Agriculture Organization's statistics was estimated at 4.99 million tons in 2016 with major producers being China with 60 percent production, followed by United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Poland, Ireland, Indonesia and India. Talking to the Daily Times, Akhtar Usmani, Chairman Mann-O-Salva Pakistan Private Limited who are the pioneers for the cultivation of mushroom commercially in Pakistan, are not only meeting the demand of the local market, but also earn foreign exchange by selling fresh and dehydrated mushroom to Europe and America. The export market rate while in the Canadian stores was $14 for a kilogram against our cost of $4.
There is a huge export market around the world, some private sector companies export thousands of kilograms, grown in Swat at a lurative price of over $1,000 for a kg.
With absolutely 100 percent export for the same we got our product quality approval from a German firm, and got export permission from the US. It occurred to us on holidays while having pizza for lunch with an extra topping of mushroom. We established this company in 1985 on 16 acres of land allotted by the Government of Sindh in Korangi Industrial Area. National Development Finance Corporation not only agreed for a loan but it was the first time the bank participated as equity partners in an agribusiness.
Mateen Siddiqui, Chairman of Fruits, Vegetables Processors and Exporters Association said mushroom export helped boost overall vegetables exports.
Mushrooms are playing a significant role in the national economics by earning substantial foreign exchange from exports.
In Punjab and Sindh it is found after the monsoon rains, while in the valleys of Balochistan it is found to grow in large numbers in March and April. Local people refer to it as "khamiri". They not only do they eat it, but sell it in the small villages and vegetable markets. A part of the crop is dried and sent to large towns. Edible mushroom once called 'Food of God' is still treated as a garnish or delicacy the world over due to its delicious taste and nourishment value. It is rich in proteins and has most of the essential amino acids with about 90 percent digestive co-efficient. In addition to being low in calories and an ideal food for diabetics, heart and cancer patients. The umbrella-shaped vegetation grows under the trunk of a tree, among sparse vegetation, and sprinkled in grasslands after the rains. However, the umbrella-shaped fungus with a little stalk tickles the taste-buds of millions around the world.
#Pakistan's exports of 127,000 #mangoes pass #India's 36,000 mangoes in #mango trade game in 2016 http://ecoti.in/_yQImb via @economictimes
India’s trade in the fruit has been below satisfactory. In the same year, India exported a mere 42,998 mangoes out of the giant basket of production while Pakistan managed to export around 65,000 units. In 2015-16, while Pakistan exported 1,27,000 units, India’s exports actually fell to around 36,000.
While Middle-East is the main market for Indian mangoes, the European Union is the main market for its Pakistani counterparts.
“Efforts are underway to make Pakistan the world’s largest exporter of mango,” Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Pakistan’s minister for food security and research had said a year ago.
It is expected that India will produce close to 19.21 million tonnes mangoes this year. Also, while it is expected to touch the 50k mark for export, Pakistan is riding on the wave of taking more than 2 lakh mangoes to different parts of the world this year.
Although new destinations like Australia, Korea and New Zealand are coming up for export, India is still way behind Pakistan in the number game.
According to a report carried by TOI last month, export demand for Indi ..
#Pakistan expects to export 100,000 metric tonnes #mangoes this year
Pakistan’s mango export commenced from Saturday onwards, according to All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA).
Moreover, PFVA has set an export target of 100,000 metric tonnes for this year.
Last year, the mango export target was set at 100,000 tonnes and towards the end of the season the export stood at 128,000 metric tonnes, which fetched USD 68 million, stated Patron-in-Chief of PFVA Waheed Ahmed.
Ahmed explained that the export target has been set at 100,000 metric tonnes as mango producers have already faced huge losses due to unexpected climatic changes.
Due to a prolonged winter season , hail storm and strong winds in Punjab, the collective production of mango is anticipated to decline to about 600,000 metric tonnes from an estimated production of 18,00,000 metric tonnes.
Punjab produces about 67 percent of the mangoes in Pakistan. However, severe climatic conditions have let to 50 percent mangoes being affected. The extent of damage can only be ascertained once mangoes become available in the market.
Pakistan exports mangoes to 50 countries across the world, shared Ahmed, adding that in the current season attention is being paid to China, US and South Korea.
Last year, export value of mangoes was between USD 680 to USD 700 per metric tonne. However, in the current season this value would be USD 650 per metric tonne, he added.
Seeking Punjab govt’s assistance
Ahmed also requested the Punjab government to reserve funds in upcmoning budger to encounter the menace of climate changes during crop production.
He said that the climatic changes are big challenge for the entire agriculture sector, including horticulture sector, and technology can be utilised to find appropriate solutions.
With use of modern technology the damage caused by hail storms can be avoided and losses can be minimised, said Ahmed.
Waheed also pressed the federal government to fulfill its commitment to cost reduction by extending seven percent financial assistance on export of fruits and vegetables in the forthcoming budget.
He further emphasised that the government must take serious notice of discriminatory policy of freight cost by the foreign carries to Pakistan. The carriers must also be bound to charge appropriate freight rate.
Foreign carriers are charging freight cost of USD 1.26 per kilogramme from Bombay to London, where as USD 1.70 per kg is being charged for the sector Karachi to London. The high costs make it difficult for Pakistan’s mangoes to compete in the international market.
#Rataul #mango: Another #India-#Pakistan flashpoint. Village near #Meerut in #UP claims mango http://toi.in/3NmfLb via @TOICitiesNews
Meerut: Among the scores of unresolved issues between neighbours - India and Pakistan - lies the conflict over a mango variety. To this day, origin of the delicious Rataul mango is disputed between the two countries.
The flashpoint of this historical tussle was witnessed in 1981 when the then Pakistan president General Zia-ul-Haq presented Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and President Neelam Sanjeev Reddy a basket full of 'special mangoes from his country'.
The then Indian PM liked the sweet mangoes so much that she wrote an open letter to General Zia-ul-Haq appreciating the mangoes, which she said were "only available in Pakistan". It was then that a group of mango growers from Rataul village in Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district met Gandhi and explained how the variety was "born" in India and not in Pakistan.
"My father's elder brother Abrarul Haq Siddiqui migrated to Pakistan after partition with saplings of Rataul mango and cultivated in Multan and named it 'Anwar Rataul' in the memory of his late father, Anwarul Haq.
"Now, Multan is famous in the world for this mango. Anwar Rataul is considered the king of mangoes," said Rahat Abrar, director, public relations office, Aligarh Muslim University, who is originally a resident of Rataul village and proud of its mangoes.
Over the years, Anwar Rataul mangoes have become so famous in Pakistan that the country has even issued a postal stamp on the mango variety.
Mairajuddin, 60, who was part of the delegation of mango growers which met Indira, told TOI, "Soon after the news of Pakistan variety being presented to then President Neelam Sanjeev Reddy was carried out in the media, a meeting was called in our village and it was decided that a box with Rataul mangoes should be presented to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with the request that the same should be sent to the Pakistan president.
"During mango festivals across the globe, there is always a tussle between the two countries over the ownership of this variety. We have over 2,000 bighas of land under cultivation of this variety in Baghpat and adjoining areas," he said.
Alimuddin Siddiqui, one of the cultivators, told TOI , "Anwar Rataul has its roots in this village here and it is still grown in a sizeable area."
THE EXPRESS TRIBUNE > BUSINESS
Balochistan can earn Pakistan up to $1 billion a year
Balochistan alone has the potential to earn Pakistan up to $1 billion a year from fruit and vegetable exports, according to initial findings of All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers & Merchants Association (PFVA).
But this will happen if international good practices are adopted, added the representative organisation of fresh food exporters that has recently completed a consultative process with stakeholders in Balochistan to develop a road map for the sector.
“The PFVA’s vision would provide long-lasting solutions of problems like food security,” a press release quoted former PFVA chairman Waheed Ahmed as saying.
A PFVA delegation recently met Balochistan Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai, growers and trade organisations and briefed them about the vision of the association to develop a national policy of horticulture.
The PFVA is gathering support throughout the country for its upcoming “National conference on Horticulture” which will be organised in February 2018.
The association briefed the governor and held consultative meetings at the Quetta Chamber of Commerce to increase the participation of farmers and other stakeholders in highlighting issues of the sector.
The current share of export volume of fruits and vegetables from the province is $45 million, which can be enhanced to $1 billion by establishing Research and Development facilities, Ahmed said.
Pakistan suffers due to low volume of exports overall, aggravating economic issues like a widening trade and current account deficit. Experts have time and again highlighted the need to increase exports and tap sectors other than textile to address economic issues.
The PFVA says that the establishment of grading, processing and packing plants as common facilities in various parts of Balochistan is imminent to achieve this objective. The governor assured to render full support and assistance is setting up common facilities centres in Balochistan, the release added.
Pakistan exported $641 million worth of horticulture products in fiscal year 2016. However, PFVA officials say the country can touch a volume of up to $7 billion within a decade if the federal and provincial governments frame friendlier policies.
USAID helping boost Pakistan’s chili production
The U.S.-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development (AMD), along with the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Government of Sindh held a conference in Karachi that brought together public-private stakeholders to discuss issues and challenges pertaining to Pakistan’s chili sector.
USAID Deputy Mission Director Oghale Oddo, Federal Secretary Ministry of National Food Security & Research, Fazal Abbas Mekan, and Secretary Agriculture, Government of Sindh, Sajid Jamal Abro, participated.
“We are proud of the role USAID has played for many years to support the development of Pakistan’s agriculture sector. The U.S. government is hopeful that these efforts will help Pakistan emerge as a major player in the international market,” said Deputy Mission Director Oghale Oddo. “We are confident that we can help Pakistani chili exports become more competitive in the international arena by introducing innovative technology and providing technical assistance.”
Through discussions and interaction during the conference, stakeholders reviewed and endorsed AMD’s efforts and shared solutions to problems faced by the industry.
USAID launched the U.S.-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development in February 2015 to improve the ability of Pakistan's commercial agriculture and livestock sectors to compete in international and national markets in the four target product lines; meat, high value and off season vegetables, mangoes, and citrus.
This partnership acts as a catalyst for development and investment in the target product lines, helps improve the quality and increase the quantity of exportable agricultural produce, and promotes cooperation among farmers, processers, exporters, and buyers of Pakistani agricultural products in international (non-U.S.) markets thus resulting in increased incomes and generating employment opportunities for Pakistani people working in the targeted product line.
Pakistan’s grapes are cultivated on a 15,302 hectare area, while annual productivity is 64,317 tonnes. Balochistan grows most of the grapes. However, with the efforts of the Agriculture Institute Chakwal, warmer areas such as Multan, Bahawalpur and Rahim Yar Khan have started to the grow the fruit on a large scale.
Grapes grown in Rahim Yar Khan are also available in the market. Thanks to the taste, local gardeners are making decent returns on the crop.
While speaking to Express News, Minthar’s gardener Imran Mughal, agricultural expert Munir Hussain and Muhammad Hanif, said a farmer can earn millions of rupees from one acre of land due to good crop turnover of the local grapes.
They said Royal, Thomson Seedless, Cardinal, Kings Ruby, White Seedless, Early White and Perlit are the important and most liked grapes.
They advised farmers and growers to get a plant from a garden that has good fruit instead of buying a grape plant from the nursery. They said the the grape plant can be grown twice; in January and February and likewise in March and April.
They said there is less need of irrigation, while a medium-sized fertile land is suitable for setting up grape gardens.
The agriculture experts said the crop should be protected from Bhar, mealeybug and Blue Bird attacks as they damage the crop. They added grape cultivation could yield maximum profits.
Earlier, a farmer from Chakwal, Mohammad Niaz, not only grew grapes across seven acres of land, but also managed exceptionally good returns on his investment.
A few years ago, the prospect of cultivating grapes in this northern part of Punjab was unimaginable, but the trend changed when the World Bank and the provincial government joined hands to improve farming standards and usher in new farming technologies.
Subsided commodities: Quality fruit hard to find
Niaz is among those lucky farmers who were picked for the implementation of the first phase of the Punjab Irrigated Agriculture Improvement Programme. The initiative was funded by World Bank with a loan of $250 million.
The Punjab government offered 60% subsidy to farmers for introducing new techniques. In order to qualify, the farmer had to contribute 40% to the cost, which alone made most farmers ineligible due to very high equipment charges upfront.
However, the programme was meant to offer an opportunity to small farmers to adopt modern technologies to cope with the growing water crisis, besides increasing agriculture yield.
Grape cultivation through drip irrigation benefits the farmer, as well as the country, through 50% water saving, 45% reduction in fertiliser cost and almost 100% increase in per acre yield.
#Pakistan: #Mango Research Institute introduces high density mango plantation.The mango plants are placed at small intervals. This planting technique also helps to save on water for irrigation. It eases #orchard management. #horticulture http://www.freshplaza.com/article/9035989/pakistan-mango-research-institute-introduces-high-density-mango-plantation/#.W9Hr1ztjXjc.twitter
The Pakistan Mango Research Institute (MRI) has been planting mango trees at its research area, in line with the Ultra High Density Plantation process.
The Ultra High Density Plantation is a common technique, already used internationally. However, Pakistan was somewhat lagging behind in this area, said Agriculture Information Assistant Director Naveed Asmat Kohloon.
Still, the technique is of vital importance as it offers more production with low inputs. The mango plants are placed at small intervals. This planting technique also helps to save on water for irrigation. It is also helpful as it eases orchard management.
#Pakistan's #fruits #export up by 6.37% in 10 months, recorded at $380.869 million during July-April (2018-19) against the exports of $358.062 million during July-April (2017-18). #Vegetable exports up 6.09%. #horticulture https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/477968-pakistans-fruits-export-up-by-six-percent-in-10-months
The export of fruits from the country witnessed an increase of 6.37 percent during the first 10 months of current fiscal year against the exports of the corresponding period of last year.
The fruits'' export from the country were recorded at $ 380.869 million during July-April (2018-19) against the exports of $358.062 million during July-April (2017-18), showing a growth of 6.37 percent, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
In terms of quantity, the export of the fruits witnessed an increase of 10.65 percent from 721,146 metric tons to 651,758 metric ton, according to the data.
On the other hand, the vegetables exports from the country witnessed a decrease of 1.18 percent by going down from $203.257 million last year to $200.859 during the current fiscal year.
In terms of quantity, the exports from the country also witnessed increase of 17.62 percent from 739,940 metric ton to 870,298 metric ton, according to the data.
Meanwhile, on year-on-year basis, the fruits export witnessed decrease of 35.63 percent during the month of April 2019 when compared to the same month of last year.
The fruits exports in April 2019 were recorded at $ 11.745 million against the exports of $18.246 million in April 2018, the PBS data revealed.
On month-on-month basis, the exports of fruits also decreased by 58.23 percent in April 2019 when compared to the exports of $28.117 million in March 2019.
Similarly, the vegetables exports on year-on-year basis increased by 6.09 percent, from $30.634 million in April 2018 to $32.501 million in April 2019.
On month-on-month basis, the vegetables exports also witnessed increase of 8.39 percent in April 2019 when compared to the exports of $29.986 million in March 2019, according to the data.
#Pakistan #Mangoes Try to Break Into #UnitedStates Markets. The mango is indigenous to #India and Pakistan producing 40% of world's supply, but the U.S. gets most of its supply from Central and South America. It's hard to find #SouthAsian fruit in #America https://www.voanews.com/episode/pakistan-mangoes-try-break-us-markets-3972621
Expanding markets: #Pakistan begins #mango #exports to #Japan. Last year, Pakistani mango exports reached a record high of 120 tons and were received favorably in the Japanese market| The Express Tribune https://tribune.com.pk/story/2253657/expanding-markets-pakistan-begins-mango-exports-to-japan
The export of mangoes from Pakistan to Japan has started after Tokyo announced temporary measures to combat Covid-19, which do not require pre-clearance by country’s inspectors. The government of Japan has introduced a temporary measure, which allows mango exports by taking measurements and sending necessary data and documents for quarantine. Normally, mango export to Tokyo requires pre-clearance by Japanese inspectors who are sent to Pakistan and other countries to follow quarantine regulations. However, the government of Japan could not dispatch these inspectors due to the Covid-19 pandemic this year. Last year, Pakistani mango exports reached a record high of 120 tons and were favourably welcomed in the Japanese market. Japan will also support Pakistan in the agricultural field such as taking measures against locust control, expanding export of agricultural products, and investment in the food processing sector.
Pakistan to export cherries to China next year
Pakistan’s cherries cannot be exported to China at present. Pakistani cherries are really good, including sweetness and quality, Wei said in an interview with the CEN at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE) held in Shanghai.
Previously, export of Pakistani cherries had been hindered due to lack of cold chain management, market information system, packaging and processing facilities. In this regard, Li Wei said China can provide technical assistance to manage orchards, while Pakistan can provide workers, so that both sides can achieve win-win cooperation. He said that China will help Pakistan develop cold chain technology.
Li Wei said that there was a great business opportunity for the export of agricultural products from Pakistan to China.
Earlier, in 2018, 24 tonnes of mangoes were exported from Pakistan to China and sold in Xinfadi, a large wholesale market of fruits, vegetables, and meat for Beijing.
Wei said that Pakistani mangoes are comparable to those from Australia and the Philippines. Although the price is more expensive than domestic mango, Pakistani mango is better in terms of variety, appearance, and quality. The sugar content of ripe mango can reach 22.68 per cent, he added.
There is seasonal difference in the marketing of Pakistani mangoes in China. The mango season in Pakistan starts from Aug 20 to Nov 20, while there are almost no mangoes in southern China in November. Pakistani mangoes can extend the mango season by two months, Li Wei explained.
“Chinese side provides technology and sends technical staff in fields of inorganic fertiliser, bagging, picking, disinfection, transportation, while Pakistani side provides labor. Finally, through cross-border e-commerce air transportation, Chinese customers can eat fresh mango within a week after placing an order,” he added.
If the pandemic improves next year, China will import large quantities of Pakistani mangoes. On the development of high value-added mango products, he said that in the next step, they may cooperate with domestic snack manufacturers to produce dried mango products.
#Pakistan develops two new varieties of #banana. These high-yielding varieties will have more shelf life, a basic requirement for #export. Banana is cultivated over an area of 80,000 acres in Pakistan but per acre yields are low- Profit by Pakistan Today https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2020/11/19/pakistan-develops-two-new-varieties-of-banana/#.X8vShA7wZdA.twitter
Pakistan has achieved a breakthrough in banana production, as the country’s apex agricultural research institution has developed two varieties of the fruit for cultivation in Sindh.
“The new varieties — NIGAB-1 and NIGAB-2 — will boost banana production in the country, which will further help in meeting domestic requirements as well as export targets,” said Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC) Chairman Dr Muhammad Azeem Khan. He lauded the scientists involved in the development of NIGAB varieties.
According to details, the new varieties of banana were developed at the National Institute for Genomic and Advanced Biotechnology (NIGAB) of the National Agricultural Research Centre, where 300,000 disease-free plants have so far been produced through tissue culture.
These high-yielding varieties will have more shelf life, a basic requirement for export.
The two varieties have been approved by the Sindh Seed Council for commercial cultivation in the province, which is the largest grower of the fruit in the country.
Statistics showed that banana is cultivated over an area of 80,000 acres in Pakistan. However, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, per-acre yield in Pakistan is lower when compared to India and China, which produce more than ten tonnes per acre.
Bananas are the world’s most exported fresh fruit with the volume of $10 billion per year. They are an essential source of income for thousands of rural households in developing countries. However, agrochemical-intensive production along with declining producer prices has given rise to many environmental and social challenges.
As per the FAO, global production of bananas and tropical fruits is projected to grow at 1.8pc per year between 2019 and 2028, after registering 2.3pc per year growth in the previous decade. Under the baseline scenario, production is expected to slightly exceed 255 million tonnes by 2028.
Pakistan strives for $210 mln kinnow exports this season
Pakistan exporters have set a target of exporting 350,000 tons of the fruit this season as compared to the 300,000 tons exported last year. The All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters Association (PFVA) commenced the kinnow export on December 1. The association expects to fetch foreign exchange worth $210 million this season.
Pakistan’s total production of kinnow is estimated to be around 2,100,000 tonnes this year; however, the production of exportable quality kinnow is far less. Of the total produce, 75pc consists of B and C grade kinnow that are not up to exportable standards. This is because the orchards are 60 years old and susceptible to various diseases.
Talking to Profit, PFVA Chairman Waheed Ahmed said that the overall export of citrus fruits and value-added products can be enhanced to $1 billion in five years, but it is imperative to explore new varieties of disease-free citrus fruits and establish new orchards with a higher yield per acre through extensive research & development (R&D).
Mango is the second largest fruit crop in Pakistan following citrus. Pakistan is the fourth largest producer of mangoes in world (The Daily Records, 2017). In 2016 it supplied about 3.5% of the world's total mango production ( (FAO, 2018). Punjab and Sindh together produce about 98% of Pakistan's total mango.
Like the other horticulture products in Pakistan, mango suffers from low productivity,
low quality, high wastage and low exports. Fruit quality is generally good but 30 to 40 percent
of fruit gets wasted during post-harvest handling. There is a lack of modern storage facility;
and postharvest treatment and transport mechanism is almost non-existent. Periodic gluts occur
on domestic markets as the markets lack the capacity to store fruit. The export market faces
similar challenges. In general, a value oriented supply chain mechanism is absent in the mango
market in Pakistan and there are concerns that current returns for growers are unsustainable
(Collins, Dunne, Campbell, Jhonson, & Malik, 2006). There are several other impediments in
the supply chain management. Most market power is concentrated to commission agents
(Mehdi, 2012). Besides, the lack of any direct relationship between growers and
processors/exporters make the supply chain protracted.
Apples are generally known as the “sweet gold” of Pakistan and are among the most popular fruits. According to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, during 2012/13 apples were produced over an area of 110,000 hectares with a total production of 556,000 metric tons, placing Pakistan among the top 25 producers globally.
--------------FRUIT 2011-12 2012-13 2013-14 2014-15 2015-16 Citrus 2147340 2001685 2167719 2395550 2344086 Mango 1700010 1680388 1658562 1716882 1336473 Banana 96545 115552 118756 118044 134634 Apple 598804 556307 606016 616748 620481 Grapes 64317 64353 66244 66036 65854 Pomegranate 48589 46081 45318 42641 40125 Guava 495231 499845 496008 488017 522573 Dates 557279 524612 526749 537204 467756 Apricot 189420 178489 177630 170504 172933 Peach 54378 55621 60880 66792 70750 Pear 19071 18789 18726 17012 16569 Plum 56223 55701 55241 54304 54634 Almond 21440 22330 21649 21881 21451 Fig 525 494 500 459 423 Jaman 7536 7398 6407 6364 5453 Litchy 1736 1811 1666 1644 1755 Phalsa 3991 3902 3851 4063 3848 Walnut 10640 9926 10094 14831 13751 Ber 28377 25634 25309 24635 24320 Loquat 8731 9304 9002 8823 9900 Mulberry 2615 2325 2530 2100 2134 Strawbery 292 312 591 609 767 Chikoo 6789 6890 6647 6677 6782 Coconut 10027 10010 10007 10030 10040 Cherry 1999 1981 2027 2083 2140 Pistachio 655 659 659 659 706 Papaya 6861 6932 6898 6743 6185 Percimen 21828 24355 24580 26760 26879 Melons 597296 583820 567506 544966 537198 Others(K+R) 56494 48099 62480 49899 46686 Total 6815037 6524522 6637831 7018002 6567286
'Pakistan government to establish cold storages on airports and shipping ports across nation'
An agreement has been made by the government and the Representatives of Fruit and Vegetable Exporters to establish cold storage areas on airports and shipping ports across Pakistan.
This weekend, the Ministry of Commerce hosted a video-link session to address the issues surrounding mango exports. In the consultative session, an agreement was made by the government and the Representatives of Fruit and Vegetable Exporters to establish cold storage areas on airports and shipping ports across Pakistan.
Prime Minister for Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood: “Held a fruitful consultative session with the growers, farmers, and exporters of Mangoes at the MOC. We discussed problems facing the exports of mango and discussed the way forward. We agreed to explore establishing cold storage areas on airports and shipping ports. We also agreed to establish a Mango Development Council under the forthcoming STPF.”
According to an article on globalvillagespace.com, this significant decision would have a positive effect on Pakistan’s exports. Most fruits and vegetables do not last long in warmer weather, hence why they need to be placed in cold storage to prevent their degeneration, especially in airports and shipping ports where they need to be sent for exports. Pakistan’s harsh weather conditions do not favor fruits and vegetables’ longevity, which ultimately affects our exports. Establishing cold storage would prevent this issue and benefit our agriculture industry as well as exports.
New farming method promises to multiply Pakistan’s mango yield
Mango grower in Sindh has introduced the small tree system of cultivating orchards, which allows more trees to grow on a smaller area
Sindh has seen a decline in production volume largely due to outdated farming techniques
TANDO ALLAHYAR: After a decade of declining harvest, mango growers in Pakistan’s southern Sindh province are pinning their hopes on a new farming technique that would allow them to increase their fruit yield up to six times, several growers and experts said.
Pakistan is the world’s sixth-largest mango producer, with an annual production volume of about 1.7 million tons. While most of the harvest comes from Punjab, the Sindh province has the second-largest yield and is known for the Sindhri variety of mango, famous for its honey-like sweetness and deep, thin yellow peel.
But farmers are increasingly sounding the alarm on declining crop yield.
Sindh cultivated mangoes on 59,215 hectares of land and produced 381,269 metric tons in 2010. Provincial agricultural data shows this yield reduced to 329,300 metric tons by 2019.
Realizing that a major reason for the decline was outdated farming practices, one grower, Mahmood Nawaz Shah from the Tando Allahyar district, decided to try something new at his Genuine Delight Farms.
In 2019, he initiated a pilot project to cultivate new orchards under the small tree system (STS) on 1.6 hectares of land using a pruning technique that keeps the height of the mango plants at nearly nine feet, making their management easier and helping to accommodate more trees in a smaller area.
“The STS can revolutionize the quantum of our mango production,” Shah, who also represents a provincial farmers’ body, the Sindh Abadgar Board, told Arab News.
“We can increase our mango production some five times in this country,” he added, explaining that while the average mango yield per acre was five metric tons from large trees, an average of 25 to 30 metric tons could be harvested from the same area using the small tree system.
According to estimates by the Sindh Abadgar Board, the STS is currently being used on only 1,618 hectares of Pakistan’s total mango cultivation area of 167,000 hectares. In Sindh, only 10 growers have so far adopted the method.
“We are far behind when it comes to modernizing our farming structures and techniques,” Dr. Noor-un-Nisa Memon, a faculty member at the Sindh Agriculture University in Tando Jam, said.
It was high time, she said, that old mango orchards were replaced with new ones, but farmers in Sindh were reluctant to prune their trees, thinking it would reduce their yield.
Farmers, however, say they are willing to adopt new techniques but cannot do it without government support as most are small-scale growers.
“It is extremely important to adopt the STS to deal with the situation,” Mir Zafarullah Talpur, a grower from Sindh’s largest mango-growing district, Mirpurkhas, told Arab News.
“The government should arrange an extensive awareness program for farmers and provide them subsidies and installment facilities so they can import modern instruments.”
Hidayatullah CHajjro, director-general at Agriculture Extension, said the provincial administration had already arranged several training sessions to raise awareness among mango growers about new farming techniques but agreed that subsidies needed to be given to farmers who wanted to import essential gadgets and machinery.
“By adopting a comprehensive approach, such as the STS, not only can we reclaim our previous production level but also enhance it further,” CHajjro said.
Shah, who introduced the new farming method to Sindh, is hopeful the trend will gain momentum in the next few years.
Today, Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood announced that Japan has approved a mango processing facility for exports from Pakistan. The advisor stated that the Roomi Foods Vapour heat treatment plant has been approved by the Japanese authorities for export of mangoes from Pakistan, adding that this was the only facility in Pakistan equipped to process mangoes as per the Japanese government quarantine requirements.
"I congratulate them for this and commend the facilitation provided by Department of Plant Protection of Pakistan and Trade Counsel Tokyo Japan," Dawood tweeted.
As reported on brecorder.com¸ the approval by Japan comes days after Australia approved two mango processing facilities of Pakistan for exports. Mustafa Agriculture Farm and Iftekhar Ahmed & Co in Sindh were approved by the Australian Department of Water, Agriculture and Environment.
Pakistan’s mango exports to Australia have increased from 2 tonnes in 2013 to 79 tonnes in 2019, increasing the country's share from 0.2 percent to 8.7 percent.
A Heat Wave’s Lamented Victim: The Mango, India’s King of Fruits
Blistering spring temperatures have devastated crops of the country’s most beloved fruit. “The soul of a farmer shudders at seeing these fruitless trees,” one grower said.
India is the world’s largest mango producer, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the global crop. Much of it is consumed domestically, but the country exports tens of millions of dollars’ worth of mangoes each year to the United Arab Emirates, Britain, Germany and the United States. Over the past decade, India has been trying to penetrate markets in other European Union countries as well.
In the past, export growth has been limited by the higher costs of Indian mangoes compared with those from countries like Brazil, Peru, Israel and Pakistan. India has been striving to increase productivity, which would lower costs.
Even before the extreme heat, India’s mango exports had been badly damaged by the supply chain disruptions of the pandemic, with shipments abroad shrinking by almost 50 percent last year. India’s top export organization had hoped for a big turnaround this year as the Indian and U.S. governments eased trade rules.
'Sweeter than honey': Inside the underground quest for the perfect mango
Cherry Hill Courier-Post
The message arrives from an unknown number on WhatsApp at about 6:30 p.m. on a Thursday evening.
Hi, regarding the mangoes …
I text back quickly for clarification.
Are you the lady getting mangoes from Nauman?
Yep, she responds instantly.
My heart leaps with joy. Just a 20-minute drive away, my box of Pakistani mangoes is here.
Would my contact be a local auntie dressed in a salwar kameez (traditional Pakistani garb)? Or would she be a 20-something like me, eager to get a taste of the beloved Chaunsa mangoes that had flown across the Pacific Ocean from Multan, Pakistan? Whoever she is, I think, I'm grateful she kindly scooped up a box for me on her trip to the mango middleman — Nauman Chaudary — in West Chester, Pennsylvania.
Chaudary became the middleman for mangoes in the Atlantic region when his friends and neighbors heard he was making trips to airports to pick up boxes from a mango supplier.
The West Chester resident told me about his journey to becoming the mango middleman earlier that week when I reached out for a story on how these mangos have built a local cult following.
People in his neighborhood would say, "Hey, if I get 12 boxes, we can share two" and that's how it all began.
“And then this year, we kind of ended up going a little bit further. I said, ‘OK, let's just do a little bigger project and let’s see how it works out,'" Chaudary said.
When shipments arrive, Chaudary sends out Facebook posts or WhatsApp messages for those interested in a box or three. The posts offer the brass tacks of what's in the box and when it's ready for pick up for those familiar with the magic of the mangoes. His Facebook post on a local South Jersey group is how I ended up at a young doctor’s home near the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
“Our next shipment of Pakistani mangoes date is July 13th IA (Inshallah or God willing), we are getting Chaunsa from Multan,” he had posted. “If anyone (would) like to order, please send me message with number of boxes. Cost of mangoes are $40 per box. Box is 2 kg, 4.4lbs, Chaunsa 5-6 pieces.”
Waiting outside her home, my anticipation builds. My parents grew up joyfully devouring these mangos, but I had never tried them until now. My heritage was waiting in the shape of a yellow-skinned fruit right behind the door.
After about 10 minutes, the door opens and a woman in light blue scrubs hands me a medium-sized box wrapped in green tape with a quick, “Here ya go! Hope you enjoy them.”
The exchange is brief, but my excitement is palpable. I smile down at the box in my hands.
I rip the box open immediately, and my friend along for the drive notes the honey-like smell that wafts from the oval-shaped mangoes tucked in little netted cozies.
The next day, we gorge on the luscious fruit while sitting on beach towels at Stone Harbor beach.
Incredibly sweet and bursting with juice, these mangoes are a revelation. They help me understand the devotion and reverence for the natural sugar bombs grown in the provinces of Punjab and Sindh inspire and the love expressed in everything from mango kulfi (traditional ice cream) to romantic verses by famous poets like Mirza Ghalib who had a special fondness for the fruit.
The cultural significance of this glorious fruit is even referenced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In an episode of “Ms. Marvel,” Kamala Khan chats with her Nani (maternal grandmother) in Pakistan over FaceTime, and Nani gets distracted by the mango man who’s brought his cart outside her home.
The poet Mirza Ghalib is reputed to have said: “Mangoes need to have two qualities: they need to be sweet, and there needs to be plenty."
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