(Aug. 31) Irradiated mangoes from India may be joined in the not too distant future by irradiated tropical fruit from Thailand and Pakistan.

Melissa O’Dell, public affairs spokeswoman with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, said Aug. 29 that U.S. and Pakistan signed a framework equivalency agreement in July. That, she said, is the first step in the process of USDA certification of irradiation facilities for tropical fruit export to the U.S.

The Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board said Aug. 18 in a news release that the group was working on a strategy that would let it compete with India in the U.S. market for mangoes.

Shamoon Sadiq, chief executive officer, Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board, said in the news release that Paras Food Private Ltd. is setting up an irradiation facility in Lahore. Another facility, with much larger capacity, is expected to be set up in Karachi. Mangoes are available from Pakistan from May through September, the news release said.

Meanwhile, O’Dell said Thailand has already completed construction of irradiation facilities to treat mangoes, longan, mangosteen, rambutan, guava and pineapple and is working with APHIS Plant Protection and Quarantine to certify the facilities.