Fruit flies are a major threat for mango growers and exporters in Pakistan, as they attack the fruit at ripening stage. In order to avoid potential loss and retain a clean environment, which is polluted by extensive pesticide usage, the management of fruit flies through an integrated biological approach is most appropriate.
Biological control minimizes the incidence of fruit flies but it does not guarantee their complete eradication. So there is need of an effective post-harvest processing technique. Extended Hot Water Treatment (HWT), Vapor Heat Treatment (VHT) and Irradiation are the three effective techniques being used for killing the fruit fly eggs in the mango fruit.
These Small-Scale Hot Water Treatment (SSHWT) units have the ability to control the fruit fly infestation by killing the eggs and maggots present inside the fruit. It is a very simple unit with a heating source, fruit holding tank and a water circulation unit. This is a very basic, valuable and cost effective technique and works successfully to control the post-harvest losses.
TRTA II supported some Pakistani mango experts to attend a training course on Postharvest Technology Management and Extension at Post Harvest Training and Research Centre, University of the Philippines from 6-15 April 2014. TRTA II also submitted a proposal, with detailed specifications for the installation of Small-Scale Hot Water Treatment (SSHWT) units at selected farm clusters that would effectively address a fruit fly infestation, at farm level and also in the export consignments.
This SSHWT unit has brought a great change in the Pakistan mango industry. On one hand the country is sending safe (hot water treated-fruit fly free) mango to high end markets, and on the other hand the concept of safe mango has also been introduced in the Pakistani markets.