Salient Features of Banana Cultivation

Usman Siddique, Mujahid Ali, Dr. Rashid Mukhtar Balal
Horticulture, College of Agriculture, UOS

Allah Almighty says in Holy Quran: Banana trees (with fruit) one above another and abundant fruit and extend shade and water flowing constantly neither intercepted nor forbidden (Al-Quran surah Al-Waqia). Banana has 3 major species, first one is dwarf banana botanically known as Musa cavendishii second one is tall banana which is botanically known as Musa sapientum and the third one is cooking banana and botanically known as Musa paradisiaca, all species belongs to family Musaceae and genus is Musa. Banana is the 4th largest fruit crop in the world. According to importance point of view, banana has a great dietary importance of potassium and potassium is a rich diet that can help lower blood pressure and people who eat plenty of potassium have up to 27% lower risk of heart diseases. it is also loaded with calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron and B6 strength your blood and relive from anemia with the iron from a banana. It also helps in digestion rich in pectin, banana aid in digestion and gently chelate toxin and heavy metals from the body and prevents kidney cancer. The climate that is suitable for the banana crop is humid tropical region need a 10-month frost-free condition to produce a flower stalk. growth slows down at 80℉ and entirely stop at 100℉. Hardest varieties stop at 53℉, the moderate temperature is required freezing temperature will kill the foliage and hot temperature scorch the leaves surface. Banana is an important day neutral food crop with a long flowering/fruiting cycle that is affected by hot summers or cold winters in various places. Banana plant like rich soil and need a lot of water to grow. It also requires high humidity.
Banana is fast growing herbaceous perennial arising from under rhizome. Flashy stalk formed by larger of leaves sheath constitute the functional trunk. Each stalk produces one huge flower cluster and then died. The ovary contains first female flower developing without pollination into a cluster of fruit called hands. All hands on an inflorescence called bunch. Each hand has 12-20 fruits called fingers. A number of hands varied from species to variety.
One of the most important phases in development in flowering plants is the decision to flower. The timing of flowering has a major influence on plant fitness. Flowering is controlled by several external factors such as photoperiod, temperature, abiotic stresses and internal factors like hormone levels, C/N ratios, and age of the plant.
Banana grows in varieties of soil for best result, well drained and ridge soil pH is 5.5-6.5. It cannot tolerate salty soils. Best possible location above and an abundant heap of compost. Banana needs regular deep watering during warm weather. Do not let dry out and not over water. Standing water in cold weather will cause root rot.
Banana requires Fertilizer for its better growth and development. NPK is applied 250, 250 and 500 kg/ha respectively. These fertilizers are required for producing 72 tons/ha. Nitrogen promotes vegetative growth. Phosphorus helps in fruit formation while potassium increases yield and quantity. Banana grows best under the warm condition and can survive 28℉ for short period. At 28℉ rhizomes can survive. Wrap trunk or cover with a blanket when the temperature is slow,
The banana does not grow on a tree and perennial herbs plant that has a trunk like a plant has a stem to support fruit. Bananas do not typically produce seeds, we need to propagate them in other ways. The trunk-like stem of a banana plant is a Pseudo stem that is made from a bundled sheath of leaves. Leaves in the pseudostem flower and produce the banana fruit, though the flowers typically aren’t pollinated, so no true seeds are produced within that fruit. The fibrous roots of the banana plant grow extensively, in some cases producing a root mat up to 30 feet wide.
Large corms or rhizomes develop within the root mat, giving as the point from which banana pseudostems grow. We can divide one of these rhizomes into smaller pieces known as “bits” to separate the individual growth points, known as meristems, within it, as each meristem serves as a point of new growth for the banana plant. Then plant the bits, and as long as each planted piece contains at least one meristem, it will develop into a new banana plant over the course of two years.
If harvested when they are small, you can replant the suckers developed by rhizomes to create new banana plants within a single year. Two types of suckers develop on banana plants, but only one type works well to produce a new plant. When leaves begin to appear on the suckers, look for the “sword suckers” that develop straight, thin leaves initially instead of the “water-suckers” that develop broad leaves.

Proper care is important to make sure the banana plant thrives and produces fruit. Bananas do best when planted in fertile soil that remains moist. They need full sun or partial shade. The plants require significant nutrients due to their large root system and leaf-based pseudostems, so we should fertilize regularly. Remove extra suckers to ensure the primary pseudostem is the focus of development. Shield the plant from heavy winds and freezing temperatures for the best chances of fruit. Major varieties grown in Sindh are Cavendish dwarf (Barsai) 98%, Conventional varieties, tissue culture varieties (Grand naine), varieties of banana based on use like desert banana, cooking banana, fiber bananas globally grown varieties of banana.
Pakistan has produced 154,825-ton banana from 340830-hectares per annum and a major contribution from Sindh Province. More than 90 percent of banana cultivation is done in Sindh i.e. 32,236 hectares out of total 34,830 hectares in Pakistan. Its cultivation in Punjab was far less than Sindh as it covers only 1,389 hectares due to unsuitable weather conditions but it was more than rest of the provinces.

Pakistan is a major banana growing country and one of its provinces, the Sindh, is the major contributor to banana production. The banana was first introduced in Sindh in 1913, for acclimatization and testing. However, the trend of banana cultivation was now growing in Ahmedpur East Tahsil of Bahawalpur and Alipur Tehsil of Muzaffargarh. Banana production in Sindh was recorded at 127,426-ton and in Punjab 9,373-ton.
The total banana world production is 145 million tons in 2013-2014. Mostly cultivated in India and it contributes 30 million out of total production. China, Philippines, and Ecuador are the next largest Bananas producing countries. The Production of Bananas increased from decades and every year variations in total production of each country. Banana is the fourth largest production among the main food crops after Rice, Wheat, and Maize. Ecuador, Costa Rica and Colombia are the largest exporters of bananas, there are around 17 million tonnes of Bananas exports worldwide. The top 4 producing countries are India China Uganda Philippines.
Bananas provide vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and smaller amounts of other B groups such as folate. They have an excellent source of fiber and resistant starch, which act as very much like fiber. The high level of potassium (K) in bananas helps to keep blood pressure normal. In traditional medicines, banana is considered natures secret to youth. It aids in digestion and helps in the retention of calcium, phosphorus, and nitrogen, the three minerals which work towards building sound and regenerated tissue.
The banana crop modeling presents challenges to both farmers and researchers. Farmers want to increase production, reduce costs, and remain profitable under the variable climate and economic conditions. Researchers want to match soils, climates, and crop growth and give sound management advice. On post-harvest problems, Sindh produces around 126,000 metric tons of bananas annually; around 32.2,000 hectares land in Sindh is devoted to this crop. We may need the services of a food scientist/ post-harvest technologies (physiologist, biochemist and plant pathologist).

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Meagre resources allocated to tackle climate change

ISLAMABAD: Climatic variation over the past few days reinforced the unpredictability and uncertainty of climate in the age of climate change.

Climate change has two basic elements – one is related to control or mitigation and the other pertains to adapting to changes. Mitigation has limited relevance for Pakistan, but adaptation is a key area of alarm.

It does not mean Pakistan should not concentrate on mitigation, but the challenge on hand is adaptation. The changes, which have occurred in the climatic system, need to be tackled by proper planning, policy and execution of plans and policies.

Pakistan started to develop its first policy quite late, but now we have a climate change policy. Besides, it also developed an implementation framework. However, the story beyond this is not satisfactory.

The policy and framework are quite comprehensive and encompass almost all areas of concern which require urgent attention. Unfortunately, the policy and implementation plan could not get the attention of policy circles.

The budget for 2018-19 clearly spells out the priority of the government to deal with climate change. It has allocated just Rs803 million for the Ministry of Climate Change, which seems to be nothing in the context of mounting challenge.

Pakistan is among top 10 countries that are most vulnerable to climate change. Spending the allocated fund is another area of concern. A review of budget 2017-18 exhibits the government earmarked around Rs341 billion for climate-related initiatives and projects. Of that, only Rs182 billion was spent.

It is interesting to note that most of the allocation was spent by three ministries including the Ministry of Finance (49%), Ministry of Defence (20%) and Cabinet Secretariat (14%). They were followed by the Ministry of Water Resources (4%) and Ministry of Railways (3%). The Ministry of Climate Change could not find a place in this ranking.

Though the government is focusing on taking climate change-related initiatives in other ministries as well, it is weakening the status of climate change ministry as major burden to tackle climate change rests on its shoulders.


Climate change-related matters face many problems, but the most important are poor decision-making, poor governance and victimisation.

First of all, decision-making mechanisms do not reflect the importance and urgency to cope with climate change. It is considered business as usual and a matter of least concern.

Second, governance mechanisms for implementation and accountability are very weak. This is because of deficient human resources and low technological levels.

The climate change ministry is one of the least populated ministries. It has multiple tasks ranging from local to global and should be present at all important forums to present the case of Pakistan. In doing so, they are exhausted and have very limited time to focus at the national level.

Therefore, the governance structure of the ministry does not allow it to function at maximum efficiency levels. In addition to this, the staff at the ministry is very bureaucratic and leaves less room for technical and expert staff.

Recently, the government has introduced the Climate Act 2017. It has expressed the will to revitalise the spirit and structure of the ministry but it will take time. Third, the political economy does not give much importance to climate change. Business and industrial development is the top priority, but environment and climate change stands at a very low level.

Business and industrial communities are very strong and have negotiation skills for the protection of their interests. Environment and climate change community is highly educated and has the expertise but their influence is limited on policy circles.

In reality, the economic and industrial development and environment and climate change have to go hand in hand. First and foremost thing to note is that no development intervention is free of impact on environment and climate.

However, the impact can be minimised without compromising the development work. Here comes the concept of “Climate Compatible Development” to tackle climate change and its impact.

Shirking responsibility

The government clears itself by criticising the West for its role in changing climate. No doubt the West is responsible for climate change, but it is also essential to realise we cannot divert the impact of climate change by just criticising the West.

We need to devise and develop plans to combat through proper mitigation and adaptation.

Lastly, the climate change ministry has been a victim of experiments. Before devolution, it was the ministry of environment. It was devolved to provinces, then brought back to the federal level, but with the name of Ministry of NDMA.

After continuous efforts by the civil society and experts, it was renamed as the Ministry of Climate Change.

Now, the introduction of Climate Act 2017 has led to confusion. There is no clarity of roles for federal and provincial ministries. The federal government has its own national Climate Change Policy whereas  the provinces are developing their own such policies.

It needs to be understood climate change is not a provincial problem, it is a national issue and we need a national policy and action plan. Provinces must be independent to implement their policies but within the limits defined by the federal government.

The writer is the Head of Centre for Future Policy and Head of Research Coordination Unit, Sustainable Development Policy Institute

Mango growers feel the heat as Pakistan tackles climate change

KARACHI: Pakistan may be among the top five producers of mango in the world, but its production was 50% of its capacity last year, according to industry players, who are now concerned over future yield as climate change and other factors play their role in squeezing produce.

While there are expectations that this year’s production may be higher, issues facing the industry will continue to haunt mango growers.

“I haven’t seen a yield so low since I started working in 1995,” Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers & Merchants Association (PFVA) Patron-in-Chief Waheed Ahmed told The Express Tribune.

His comments came after Pakistan registered its lowest production in history last year, amounting to 0.9 million tons, according to industry players.

“Other veterans of the industry tell me it was the worst in Pakistan’s history.” India, China, Thailand, Mexico and Pakistan are the top producers of mangoes in the world.

However, Pakistan could see itself drop out of the list as climate change and water scarcity hinder production.

“Winters have been longer for a few years now due to climate change, which has been impacting yield. Moreover, there were frequent hailstorms and strong winds, which forced production of mangoes to drop.

“There’s water shortage as well. All these have adversely affected not only mango production but also agriculture as a whole,” he added.

According to Germanwatch’s Global Climate Risk Index 2018 report, Pakistan is the seventh most vulnerable country to global warming and subsequently, climate change.

The export target of 100,000 tons was also not achieved as shipments amounted to 81,000 tons.

“Along with low production, the smaller size of mango is also of great concern to exporters. Due to increase in demand and shortage of supply this year, the wholesale price of mango is expected to increase from Rs2,400 to Rs3,000 per 40kg approximately,” said Ahmed.

He said that there was an urgent need for research and policymaking to deal with the issue of climate change.

“Other countries have already started dealing with the global warming issue. But unfortunately, Pakistan has lagged behind that could imperil the country’s food security.”

Ahmed said the industry has been facing a higher air freight expense compared to neighbouring India and that too, in disagreeable conditions. He remarked that last year the air freight was Rs178 per kg for Pakistan, while it was Rs95 per kg for Indian produce to European countries in Pakistani rupee terms.

“Airlines from the Middle East take an undertaking from Pakistan exporters that they won’t be responsible for late delivery or even in case the number of boxes are less when the shipment reaches its destination.

“We have approached the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) to resolve this issue. I have seen many exporters losing a lot of money due to late delivery and sometimes due to mistakes on the part of the airlines,” he said.

Positive news

On a positive note, the much-celebrated China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route may help the country in exporting mangoes to China this year.

The industry expects that around 500 to 2,000 tons could be exported to the neighbouring country. The Gulf countries, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and European countries could also be major buyers of Pakistani mangoes. The export of mango is set to begin from May 20.

Foreign exchange of $95-100 million is expected to be generated by attaining the export target of 100,000 tons. Rupee devaluation and Ramazan have made Pakistani exporters hopeful of attaining the target this year. Mango promotion events will also be held in China, and European countries this year to further enhance the export of mango.

By Bilal Hussain, Express Tribune

Summer mango fruit fly incursions lead to tougher SA import restrictions

South Australia has strengthened its import requirements, following the discovery of fruit fly larvae in four consignments of Queensland mangoes sent to South Australia during the summer harvest, which threatened its fruit fly-free status.

The reforms include a ban on fruit that has been heat-treated as well as stronger conditions for the use of a fumigation chemical treatment.

One of the infested mango consignments had been subjected to a hot-water treatment and another to methyl-bromide fumigation.

Geoff Raven, the manager for plant and food standards at Biosecurity South Australia, said investigations found both treatments had met existing protocols for interstate certification.

“They found that the chemical fumigators actually complied with the protocols and with the heat treatment, again there was no non-conformance.

“So the protocols were followed to the letter, which tells us that there’s a problem with the protocols,” he said.

The resulting suspension of heat treatments has virtually banned the trade of organic fruit to South Australia.

Fruit treated by methyl-bromide must now have a temperature of 16 degrees Celsius, up from 12 degrees, during the fumigation process.

The higher temperature causes the larvae to become more active, which makes the pest more likely to ingest the chemical and die.

Supply chain takes biosecurity out of growers’ hands

Biosecurity Queensland has revealed the consignment of infested mangoes treated by methyl-bromide had not originally been destined for South Australia but Victoria.

Its general manager for plant biosecurity, Mike Ashton, said fruit fly treatment rules did not apply to mangoes sent to Victoria, because the pest was already in abundance in that state.

The Victorian fumigation facility involved was also under investigation this year over the detection of live fruit fly in nectarines sent to Tasmania, which also enjoys fruit fly-free status.

Quarantine standards breached

Mr Ashton said dipping and flood spraying, rather than methyl-bromide fumigation, was used during on-farm treatments for mangoes destined for South Australia and Tasmania.

Investigations by Biosecurity Queensland have revealed two of the growers whose infested mango consignments were rejected by South Australia had breached quality assurance standards.

“With the second business, the non-conformance was in relation to the post-treatment inspection for freedom from fruit fly and the business was found to be not undertaking those inspections in the way it’s required,” Mr Ashton said.

All fruit fly host produce subject to new requirements

South Australia’s new import requirements affect all produce that are host to either Queensland fruit fly or Mediterranean fruit fly, which is found in Western Australia.

Recently, fruit fly larvae was also discovered in trays of strawberries sent from Queensland to South Australia.

Fruit flies can also infect citrus fruits, bananas, tomatoes, papayas, berries, grapes, apples, pears, apricots, olives and almonds.

Article Source: ABC News

Mango Varieties

The Indo-Pakistan mangoes are monoembryonic and seedlings differ invariably from each other. The wide variations among the seedling progeny have been responsible for the evolution of several choice varieties in both the countries which have been further multiplied by vegetative means and grown on large scale. These varieties have thus been called as “Horticulture Varieties”. That is how a large number of standard varieties have come onto being and is cultivated in the different parts of Indo-Pakistan. The varietal nomenclature is so much confusing that one variety carries many names at various places and some cases on name is applied to several varieties.

Pakistan produces over 150 varieties of mango and among these Chaunsa and Sindhri have great potential for finding buyers in the international markets.

Talking to APP on Monday Secretary Agriculture Punjab Muhammad Mushtaq Ahmed said Punjab holds 67 percent of the total area and produces 80 percent of country’s  Mango.

He said total production of mangoes in Punjab during 2011-12 was 1.304 tons and Pakistan is of high quality with good aroma, excellent appearance, special taste and flavor along with sufficient quantity of fiber content thus enjoying a prominent position in the international market.

To a question, he said Pakistan produces over 1.75 million tons of mangoes out of which 127 tons are exported, currently only 5 percent of the total mango produce is processed in to value added items like pulp for use in drinks and ice cream, canned mangoes and dried mangoes.

He said Pakistan exported mangoes worth $ 29 million to the Middle East and EU in 2009 and Malaysia, China and Hong Kong are other valuable trading partners.

Pakistan Mango Varities: Chaunsa, Chok anan, Dusehri, Langra, Desi, Anwar Rataul, Sindhri, Fajri, Saroli, BaganPali, Alphonso, Muhammad Wole, Neelum,Shan e Khuda


Flesh firm, fibreless with pleasant flavour and sweet taste. Juice moderately adundant. Fruit quality good, keeping good quality. Ripening season in August.

Season: July – September
Origin: Rahim Yar Khan & Multan
Color: Gold
Flavor: Slight perfume
Fiber: 17.2 – 27.3%
Sugar Content: 18 – 22%
Pulp Gravity: Heavy
Moisture Content: 78% after ripening; 81% before ripening
Weight: 1-2.3 Pounds
Relative Humidity: 85%


It has originated as a superior chance seedling near Benares. Size medium to large, ovate, base round to slightly flatten, shoulders equal. Beak minute but distinct, sinus slight to absence, skin green and thin, flesh fibreless, yellowish brown in color, scented, highly melting, very sweet. Stone very small, flattened, oval. Weight of an average fruit is about ¼ kg. Fruit quality very good, bearing heavy. Season (Early to mid Season). 1st to 3rd week of July. Heavy yielder.


It derives its name form village between Lucknow and Malihabad where it was originated as a superior chance seedling. Size small to medium, oblong, ventral, shoulder higher than dorsal, beak and sinus absent, color yellow when ripe, skin thin, pulp fibreless, flesh firm, very sweet, flavor nice. Stone very small, oblong, variety good to very best, bearing heavy, mid season (July), keeping and peeling quality good.

ALPHANSO, BOMBAY                                                                                    

This is a leading commercial variety of Bombay State and is one of the best in India. Because of its better adaptability to humid climate it has not been able to maintain its esteemed position in the dry districts of Pakistan. The Alphanso is successful in some districts of Sindh. Size medium, ovate, oblique, base obliquely flattened, Ventral structure boarder and much higher than dorsal, beak just a point, sinus not prominent, color of the ripe fruit yellow or brownish yellow, skin thin, pulp yellowish brown, flesh firm, taste very sweet, flavor excellent, almost fibreless. Fruit quality is good. Mid season variety harvested in July.


It has originated as a superior chance seedling in Muzaffernager U.P. It got its name because of its pleasant flavor. Fruit medium, base slightly flattened, shoulders equal, sinus very light, beak point prominent, skin greenish yellow, thin, pulp yellow, very sweet, sparsely fibrous, flavor pleasant to delicious. Stone medium and oblong, oval. Quality of the fruit is very good, keeping and peeling qualities well. Ripening season July-August.


It has originated as superior chance seedling in Bihar and gor its name after the name of lady Fajri who selected and brought up its trees. Size big, oblong, obliquely oval, base rounded, shoulder unequal, with ventral higher than the dorsal, beak distinct, sinus very shallow with rounded apex. Skin thin, pulp color pale, fibreless, taste sweet with pleasant flavor. Juice moderate to abundant. Stone large, oblong. Fruit quality good to very good bearing late season August, Keeping quality good.


Size small to medium, skin thick, yellow brown, pulp sweet, juicy, stone medium sized, fiber very little. Very hard variety. Season early August.


It is originated as choicest seedling in a village Chausa in Malihabad, Tehsil of Lucknow. It is also known as “Kajri” or “Khajri”. There is resemblance between the foliage of Fajri and this variety but there are marked difference in fruit shape and quality. Fruit medium to large ovate to oval, base obliquely flattened, ventral shoulder raised than the dorsal, beak distinct, sinus shallow, apex round, skin medium in thickness, smooth, flesh firm, fibreless with pleasant flavor and sweet taste. Juice moderately abundant. Stone somewhat large oblong. Fruit quality good, bearing heavy, keeping quality medium to good. Ripening season in August (late).


It has originated as a chance seedling in “Shohra-e-Afaq” Garden in Rataul. Now is has become popular in mango growing areas of Punjab because of its high flavor. Fruit medium, ovate, base flattened with equal shoulders, which are rounded, beak not prominent, absent in some cases, sinus absent, and apex round. Skin medium thick. Flesh firm, fibreless, flavor very pleasant, with very sweet taste. Juice moderately abundant. Some medium oval. Fruit quality very good. Ripening season in July (Mid-Season). Keeps well in storage.


Season: Mid-May to mid-July
Origin: Mir Pur Khas
Color: Gold
Flavor: Slight Perfume
Pulp Gravity: Medium
Fiber: 3 – 5%
Moisture Content (average): 79% after ripening; 18% before ripening
Weight: Average 1 – 3.5 pounds
Relative Humidity: 85%

It is a leading variety of Sindh. Fruit shape ovalish long. Size big, length 15 cm, breadth 8 cm. Thickness 7.4 cm. Weight 14.0 oz. Base obliquely rounded, cavity absent, Ventral shoulder rising and round, dorsal ending in a curve. Skin color lemon yellow when ripe. Surface smooth. Pulp color Yellowish cadium. Texture fine and firm fibreless. Stone medium size. Flavor pleasantly aromatic, taste sweet. Heavy yielder, early season.


Another variety of Sindh. Fruit shape is obliquely oval, Size is big, length about 14 cm. Breadth 9.1 cm Thickness 8.2 cm. Weight 22.0 oz. Base obliquely flattened. Cavity not prominent. Stalk inserted obliquely. Shoulders ventral typically razed, broader and much more higher than dorsal. Back almost rounded. Skin color dark green and glazy when unripe. Yellowish light green with very light crimson patches when ripe. Surface smooth, shining. Dots small distinct. Glands small, crowded.


Quality variety of Sindh. Fruit shape ovate, size small, length 7.7cm breath 5.9cm thickness 5.6cm weight 5.0oz. The base is rounded. Stalk inserted squarely. Cavity slight to absent, Shoulders unequal. Ventral is higher than dorsal, back rounded. Sinus slight to shallow, Beak acute to obtuse. Apex rounded, Skin color sea green when unripe & yellow with reddish tinge when ripe. Surface smooth. Small dots with numerous small glands.


Farmers advised to sow certified varieties of paddy

ISLAMABAD – Punjab agriculture department has advised the farmers to sow certified varieties of paddy for getting maximum yield.

The spokesman of the department Najaf Abbas said that the certified varieties of paddy include KS-282, ARI 9, ARI 6, and Nayyab 2013 while Basmati varieties include Super basmati, Basmati 515, Chenab basmati, Nayyab basmati 2016 and Noor basmati. He said that hybrid varieties include Y-26, Pride-1, Shehan Shah-2 and PHB-71, Radio Pakistan reported.

The spokesman said that unsuitable varieties include Super fine, Kashmira, Malta and Hero. The farmers should not sow unsuitable varieties at all because rice produced through these varieties is not of good quality, he added.

Mango exporters violating packaging policy

Karachi: A number of exporters are not following standardised packing for mango exports which started last week.

The Ministry of Commerce, through an SRO in 2013, had clearly defined the weight of standardised packing of the fruit from 1.5-8kg with intervals of 0.5kg and variations in weight on either side.

Chairman All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association Aslam Pakhali had informed Finance Minister Miftah Ismail through a letter on May 23 that this SRO had never been implemented in spirit by the concerned customs authorities since the time it was initiated.

The practice of non-standardised packaging is followed by many exporters, tarnishing the country’s image as the weight stated on the box does not conform to the actual weight. As a result, law-abiding exporters are sustaining financial losses, he said.

Aslam said the compliant exporters are unable to compete with defaulters who manage to sell their export mangoes cheaper in the international market as they pay lower freight cost (less actual weight than stated on the box).

In comparison, exporters following the government order suffer financially as they pay relatively higher cost of air freight due to no discrepancy between the stated actual weights of mangoes.

This unhealthy practice also casts a bad shadow over quality as buyers form a poor impression of consignments being from a particular destination as “B” or “C” category compared to the “A” grade mangoes from competitors like India – Pakistan’s main competitor.

He said the Ministry of Commerce should issue necessary directives to the customs authorities for ensuring strict monitoring and compliance in this regard to differentiate between compliant and non-compliant exporters.


East or west, Pakistani mangoes are the best

Muzammil Ferozi 

KARACHI: Mango is called “The King of Fruit,” one of the most nutritious, not to mention delicious as Pakistani Mangoes are high in fiber, low in calories and contain a small amount of carbohydrates, calcium, iron, potassium and a little protein and are rich in vitamins, A, B and C containing other antioxidant vitamins as well. It is one of the sweetest fruit in the world.

Sub-continent is the habitat of mango, where it has been growing for over 4,000 years and subsequently has spread to tropical and sub-tropical regions. Mangoes have been produced in Pakistan for well over two thousand years, and the country is now the forth largest producer in the world

Among 1595 varieties of mangoes known, only 25 to 30 are being grown on commercial scale. The varieties of the king of the fruit are producing in Pakistan include Chaunsa, Sindhri, Langra, Dasehri, Anwar Ratool, Saroli, Samar Bahisht, Toota Pari, Fajri, Neelum, Alphanso, Almas, Sanwal, Surkha, Sunera and Desi.

Chaunsa mango of Pakistan is one of the worlds’ top available varieties. Chaunsa is a variety of mango grown in different parts of the world, but originally from Rahim Yar Khan and Multan in Punjab. It is an exceptionally sweet mango with a wonderful fragrance and delicious soft, succulent flesh with only the minimum of fibre. it is not a fruit of beauty, usually being of a pale, matt yellow appearance, but one inside the thin peel it is a delight. Chausna has quite a thick stone and the flesh is a fairly light yellow in colour. It’s origin from Rahim Yar Khan and Multan Punjab.

Sindhri is a Leading variety of Sindh. Its shape ovalish long, size large, skin colour lemon yellow when ripe, pulp colour yellowish cadium, texture fine and firm fibreless, stone medium sized, flavour pleasantly aromatic and taste sweet. It’s origin from Mir Pur Khas. It is also the national fruit of Pakistan because this variety is top in Pakistan. Sindhri is very famous mango variety from Pakistan and Among the Best Mangoes of the World.

Langra mango’s flesh is fiber-less, yellowish brown in color and has a strong smell when it ripens. As compared to other varieties of mangoes, it is naturally verysugary and soft. The size of the seed is small and oval in shape. Langra maintains it green color after it gets ripe, while other mangoes change into yellow-reddish color.

Dasheri mango is long and oval shaped, with a light green or yellow-green skin when mature, becoming golden yellow when ripe. Dasheri mangoes have a fiberless, peach-colored flesh with a medium-sized stone. The flavor is very sweet and aromatic. Dasheri mangoes are high in vitamin C and fiber. Mangoes naturally contain enzymes beneficial for digestion as well as many other valuable vitamins and minerals.

Anwar Ratool, mango is said to have been cultivated by Anwar-ul-haq in a garden in the Ratol area in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. But now it is extensively grown in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Anwar Ratole Mango is recognized for its rich flavor all around the globe. Owing to its superb taste it has gained most popularity in recent times. It has an exceptional sweet taste that makes the tasting buds so refreshing. It is the best variety of mango in terms of sweetness and flavor that distinguishes it from all the other mangoes. Its peak season starts from the mid of July and ends in August. This mango is fully loaded with nutritional values that provides sufficient amount of energy. It is extensively grown in the Punjab province of Pakistan. Its peak season is from mid-July to August.

Saroli, A popular variety in North India and Pakistan. It’s one of the first mangoes to appear during the season. Sweet green mangos are aromatic and rich in fragrance. It is a rich source of vitamins, potassium, phenol and iron, and looks so tempting and tastes so yummy.

Samar Bahisht is a local selection; a change seedling in Fajri plantation in village “Chaunsa” by a farmer Mir Khan Bahadur Altaf Rasul very popular late season mango. It is planted in Multan, Mirpurkhas, Tarnab (DIK) Foliage medium dense, shape ovate to oval oblong, color light green at maturity, yellow at ripening, sinus weak, conspicuous, flesh pale yellow,medium juicy, sweet, flavor rich, distinctive, aromatic, fibers medium.

The Totapuri mango is a cultivar that is widely grown in South India and is partially cultivated in Sri Lanka. … Totapuri is one of the main cultivars grown in India for mango pulp, along with ‘Alphonso’ and ‘Kesar’. The tree is medium size with greenish yellow fruits.

Fajri , it is origion from Behar, it was created by a woman the name is after her, the skin is pale and the pulp is fibreless, Fajri is also known for its sweet taste and exceptional texture.

Neelam mango grows in many areas of Pakistan. The more famous Pakistani varieties are from the Sindh region, it is also very famous in Indian mangoes varieties. Noticeable with its distinctive lovely fragrance, Neelam is available throughout the season but the tastiest ones come in only by June with the monsoons. They are tiny in comparison to other varieties and have yellow-orange skin.

Alphanso, it is very sweet and different from others. This type of mango does not grow out of seed. It is planted through artificial propagation. It is a mid season variety and is harvested in July.

Desi mangoes, Since indigenous desi mangoes varieties are not as popular as the commercial ones like Chaunsa and Dussehri, growers are fast switching over to economically profitable varieties. This does not bode well for already threatened ‘desi’ varieties. It’s the cheapest mango and hardly known in the market, even though some of them are much easier to grow as compared to the commercial varieties. Most of the times, they grow out of discarded seeds. But, most of these mangoes remain confined to orchards as they are not popular.

The main mango growing districts in the Punjab province are Multan, Bahawalpur, Muzzaffargarh and Rahim yar Khan. In the province of Sindh it mainly grows in Mir pur Khas, Hyderabad and Thatta and in the province of NWFP D.I Khan, Peshawar and Mardan are known for it.

Mango is the second most exported fruit from Pakistan mainly to Middle East, Iran, Germany, Japan, China and Hong Kong making its valuable contribution as an important foreign currency earning fruit crop. Pakistan is now the 4th largest producer in the world behind India, China, Mexico and Thailand.

Mango is the second largest fruit crop of Pakistan. At present it has grown on an area of 170.1000 thousand hectares with production of 1.8 million tones. Only in Punjab province, there are mango gardens on 271,700 acres of land and they are producing 70% mangoes of total production, Sindh produces 24% and KPK produces 1% of total production, which seems to be reducing this year, the second major fruit crop of Pakistan produces 8.5% of world’s Mango. The climate earlier than that of Punjab has given the province the privilege to grow early varieties of Mango.

According to Waheed Ahmed Chairman All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) that in the past few years the production of quality Mangoes is on the decrease due to global warming and government is not taking any imitative to tackle the problem.

Moreover he told that Pakistan’s horticulture has been badly hit by global warming and extreme weather, and a major casualty this season has been the Mango crop in Punjab. Mango output has also been affected in south Punjab where fruit plants are in Rahim Yar Khan, Muzaffargarh and Multan. However, the crop in Sindh is comparatively less affected and only a 10% reduction is likely in its share of 35% in the country’s total Mango output. In southern Sindh, Mango production has not been a viable business over the years due to harsh weather.

According to a senior official of the Agriculture Department, this year March surprisingly turned to be cold like January or February. Later the dust storms and sudden increase in temperature affected the fruit. “Farmers are worried, as they will hardly be able to recover cost,” he feared.

In addition he told that the Soil and climatic environment in Pakistan support Mango production in terms of capitulate and quality. Number of factors contributes towards low production of Mango. Unchecked use of unhealthy seeds forming diseased seedlings, Insect attack (Mango mealy bug, fruit fly, Mango weevil, scales, mites), improper management practices during budding or grafting, time of irrigation, pruning and time of application of fertilizers are contributing substantially to the downfall of the industry. Adding to the ever increasing problems are the post harvest losses contributing almost 40% to 50%.

. Pakistan is riding on the wave of taking more than 2 lakh mangoes to different parts of the world this year due to negligence mangoes shipment have been cancelled last year.

Since Pakistan’s last year mango production was reported to be 1.7 million tonne with two-third and one-third share of Punjab and Sindh respectively.

In addition to major crop losses, bad luck awaited Pakistan at another front. A Pakistani Mango consignment of 4.5 tonnes was rejected last year in Amsterdam after discovering fruit fly in the fruit, making the first such instance last year. The EU had already made it clear last year that more than five rejections will mean a complete ban on Pakistani fruit and vegetable imports in the European markets.

To promote and introduce mangoes Three-day annual mango show is arranged by Agriculture Department in RAHIM YAR KHAN and besides this National Mango and Summer Fruits Festival is also arranged every year at the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Exhibition Hall in Mirpurkhas.

Approximately 1% of Mango production is utilized for processing for juice, nectars, preserves, fruit leather, dried fruit slices, frozen pulp, and as flavoring for baked goods, ice cream, yoghurt, etc.

Stevia and Weight Management

Worldwide obesity rates have nearly doubled since the 1980s.

According to a New England Journal of Medicine study from the Global Burden of Disease 2015 Obesity Collaborators, it is estimated that 107.7 million children and 603.7 million adults were obese worldwide. The overall prevalence of obesity was 5.0% among children and 12.0% among adults. This equates to one out of every 10 people worldwide being obese.1 Being overweight or obese is a risk factor for a number of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, chronic kidney disease, many cancers, as well as musculoskeletal disorders.2 The researchers noted that in 2015, being overweight or obese contributed to 4 million deaths, with cardiovascular disease accounting for 41% of those deaths, followed by diabetes.

The causes of overweight and obesity around the globe are quite complex and include factors such as an increase in physical inactivity due to increased sedentary time and increased intake of energy-dense foods that are high in fat and added sugars. Importantly, added sugars include a whole host of sweeteners with calories from sugar and high fructose corn syrup to agave nectar and maple syrup. The distinction is that added sugars are those added to foods or beverages when they are processed or prepared and therefore, do not include naturally occurring sugars such as those in milk and fruits.

Consumption of sugar varies considerably from country to country. The United States is the world’s largest consumer of sugar; the average American consumes 126.4 gm of sugar daily or the equivalent of 31.6 teaspoons.3

Both the World Health Organization (WHO)4 and the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans5 advise limiting added sugars to less than 10% of total daily calories. That is no more than 200 calories (12.5 teaspoons) from added sugars in a typical 2,000 calorie/day diet. The WHO Guidelines for Sugars Intake also makes a conditional recommendation and suggests a further reduction of free sugars intake to below 5% of total energy intake.

Among the many strategies to consider to achieve this reduction is the use of non-nutritive sweeteners including stevia.

For people trying to manage their weight, stevia provides a natural-origin way to cut calories without having to sacrifice taste. Replacing just 25g (about six teaspoons) of nutritive sweeteners in foods and beverages can provide a 100 kilocalorie reduction. While this may seem relatively insignificant, these small changes do add up over time when done on a daily basis.

Weight Management Research

Replacing sugar with non-nutritive sweeteners can have a positive impact on reducing overall calorie intake and body weight, according to researchers from the University of Bristol who conducted a systemic review of the existing science on the effect of non-nutritive sweeteners to overall energy intake and body weight.6 Their analysis showed that when non-nutritive sweeteners were used in place of sugar – in both adults and children – it resulted in reductions in overall calorie intake as well as body weight. Additionally, the preponderance of evidence from all human randomized controlled trials indicated that non-nutritive sweeteners do not increase energy intake or body weight, whether compared with caloric or non-caloric (e.g., water) control conditions.

Another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted a meta-analysis of 15 randomized controlled trials (RCT) and nine prospective cohort studies to examine the relationship between low-calorie sweeteners (LCS) and body weight and composition. Results showed that in the RCT studies, LCS significantly reduced body weight, body mass index, fat mass, waist circumference. In the prospective cohort studies, LCS intake was not associated with body weight or fat mass, but was significantly associated with slightly higher BMI. From this analysis, the authors conclude that substituting LCS for higher calorie options results in modest weight loss and may be a useful tool in weight maintenance or loss.7

Appetite and Satiety Research

Dr. Stephen Anton and colleagues tested the effect of preloads containing stevia, aspartame, or sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. The 19 healthy weight and 12 obese subjects were fed preloads containing stevia (290kcal), aspartame (290kcal) and sucrose (492kcals) before a lunch and dinner meal on three separate food test days. Hunger and satiety levels were noted before and after mealtime and every hour throughout the afternoon. Participants also provided blood samples immediately before and 20 minutes after the lunch preload. Results showed that despite the difference in calories in the preload, the participants did not compensate by eating more at either lunch or dinner and reported similar levels of satiety when they consumed stevia or aspartame compared to sucrose. Additionally, stevia preloads reduced postprandial glucose and insulin levels, suggesting stevia may be beneficial to glucose regulation.8

Other studies suggest that while some people may compensate for any calories saved by using a non-nutritive sweetener over sugar, they do not overindulge. A study published in the March 2017 issue of the International Journal of Obesity compared the impact of consuming non-nutritive sweetened beverages (both artificial and natural) versus sugar-containing drinks on overall energy intake, blood glucose and insulin responses.9 The 30 male subjects were given one of four test beverages mid-morning (including sucrose, aspartame, stevia and monk fruit) after a standardized breakfast, and then allowed to eat as much as they desired at lunch. The researchers found that participants who received the non-nutritive sweetened beverage compensated for any of the calories saved at subsequent meals, leading to no difference in total calorie intake between the treatments. The researchers did report that the sucrose sweetened beverage led to significant spikes in blood glucose and insulin responses compared to the three non-nutritive sweetened beverages.

While the participants who received the non-nutritive sweetened beverages felt slightly hungrier and ate more calories at the next meal, they did not overindulge. It is also important to note that this was a relatively small study (30 people), and conducted over four test days. Overall energy intake was partially determined by self-reporting of participants keeping a food diary, which can be imprecise.

The concern is not that non-nutritive sweeteners cause an increase appetite which can lead to overeating, but rather that some people may have a natural instinct to replace the calories saved with something else. The key to successfully reducing weight by replacing regularly sweetened foods and beverages with non-nutritive sweetened versions is to be conscious of not compensating for the calories saved by overindulging in other foods.

Replacing sugar with reduced-calorie, reduced sugar foods made with sweeteners like stevia has the ability to influence weight management. When used correctly, non-nutritive sweeteners can help achieve personal as well as public health goals to reduce calories and sugar intake, and improve overall health.

Stevia is now available as an ingredient in over 14,50010 food and beverage products around the world including teas, soft drinks, juices, yogurt, soymilk, baked goods, granola bars, alcoholic beverages, chewing gum, cereal, salad dressings, confections and as a tabletop sweetener. There has been a 25% increase in the number of new products containing stevia between 2008 – 201710

Because food and labeling policies vary greatly around the world, stevia may be listed differently on nutrition labels depending on where you live. On nutrition labels, look for “stevia, stevia extract, steviol glycosides, stevia leaf extract, Reb A” and other variations.


  1. Health Effects of Overweight and Obesity in 195 Countries over 25 Years The GBD 2015 Obesity Collaborators N Engl J Med 2017; 377:13-27July 6, 2017

  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Causes and consequences of obesity: what causes overweight and obesity? Accessed October 15, 2014

  3. Accessed September 12 2017

  4. World Health Organization Guideline: Sugars Intake for Adults and Children; March 2015

  5. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015–2020 8th Edition:

  6. Rogers PJ, et al. (2016). Does low-energy sweetener consumption affect energy intake and body weight? A systematic review, including meta-analyses, of the evidence from human and animal studies. International Journal of Obesity. DOI 10.1038/ijo.2015.177.

  7. Miller P, Perez V. Low-calorie sweeteners and body weight and composition: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials and prospective cohort studies. Am J Clin Nutr. 2014; 100(3):765-777.

  8. Anton SD, Martin CK, Han H, Coulon S, Cefalu WT, Geiselman P, Williamson DA .Effects of stevia, aspartame, and sucrose on food intake, satiety, and postprandial glucose and insulin levels. Appetite. 2010; 55(1):37-43

  9. S L Tey, N B Salleh, J Henry, C G Forde, Effects of aspartame-, monk fruit-, Stevia-, and sucrose-sweetened beverages on postprandial glucose, insulin and energy intake Int J Obes (Lond). 2017 Mar;41(3):450-457

  10. Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) September 2017.