Banana Bagging Project

Today (June 13, 2024) Pakistan Horticulture Development & Export Company Distributed Banana Bags with the aim to enhance Pakistan’s Banana Exports through Quality Improvements.
Recognizing the potential of banana crop, the Pakistan Horticulture Development & Export Company (PHDEC) has initiated a pilot project to distribute banana bunch bags to progressive growers in Hyderabad region. This initiative aims to enhance the quality and cosmetic appeal of bananas, facilitating their entry into more lucrative international markets. PHDEC’s ongoing efforts focus on advancing Pakistan’s horticulture sector by improving the quality of horticultural products to boost exports.
The Sindh province is a major contributor, covering 93% of the banana cultivation area and producing 83% of the country’s bananas. Mostly, Cavendish banana variety is produced in Sindh cluster, due to climate change effects, the high temperature causes physiological disorder of banana with quality defects such as chilling injury and sun born, which affects visual appearance of the fruit and fetch low prices in the international market. This banana bunch activity will not only reduce these affects, but will help in diversifying product to the niche market.
Pakistan, a significant banana producer with approximately 33 thousand hectares of banana cultivation, is exporting this fruit to Iran and the Central Asian Republics (CARs). However, Improving the cosmetic appeal and overall quality of bananas is crucial for accessing higher-value markets. The distribution of banana bunch bags by PHDEC represents a strategic move towards this goal. In 2023, Pakistan exported $52 million worth of bananas.
In addition to distributing the bags, PHDEC, in collaboration with the Agriculture Research Department in Tandojam, also organized a seminar on banana bagging and good agricultural practices. Held at the auditorium hall of the Agriculture Research Department, the seminar addressed key issues from production to post-harvest management and export marketing.
Mr. Athar Hussain Khokhar, CEO of PHDEC, said that banana has emerged as potential export crop after citrus and mangoes. Growing international demand requires following good agriculture practices. He said that Pakistan is 5th worst climate affected country, and our fruit and vegetable is directly bearing the brunt of this climate change. We need to adapt and make required changes in our field practices for reducing field losses. Banana bagging initiative is one of such activity, which will control physiological disorder in the crop. He said that earlier PHDEC had also initiated mango bagging activity, which has received positive response from our growers in Multan and Hyderabad region.
Mr. Niaz Ahmad Nizamani, a progressive banana grower and value chain expert, guided growers on effective banana bunch bagging techniques. He delivered a detailed presentation on the types of bags, their benefits, and installation procedures, emphasizing that bagging is essential for improving the fruit’s cosmetic appeal.
Dr. Abdul Mubeen Lodhi, Professor at the Department of Plant Protection, Sindh Agriculture University, provided a detailed analysis of current crop conditions and good agricultural practices. He discussed the reasons behind low production levels in Pakistan and the impact of malpractices, offering insights into Panama disease, its symptoms, and control measures.