Earth Systems and Environment

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 621–632 | Cite as

Understanding the Interdependence Between Worker Livelihoods and Decent Work at Certified and Non-Certified Mango Orchards in Pakistan

  • Muhammad Bilal AhsanEmail author
  • Mubashir Mehdi
  • Burhan Ahmad
  • Umar Sohaib Ahmad
Original Article


There is little evidence of published literature regarding the incorporation of on-farm workers into global fresh produce value chains. Agriculture, a major sector in Pakistan, employs 50% of the total labor force, and contributes 21 and 30% to GDP and GNP, respectively. Two-thirds of the population resides in rural areas. Mango is the second major fruit product in the country. The horticulture industry of Pakistan in general, and the mango sector specifically, has been the focus of research and development efforts by governmental and various international developmental organizations. A participatory value chain approach has been adopted to enhance technological advancements and increase the competitiveness of farm enterprises. The adoption of best practices is slow due to a lack of attention to occupational health measures, lack of training and low wages among on-farm workers. Market incentives, compliance standardization and increasing demand for certified products has driven mango farms in Pakistan to seek certification by organizations such as GLOBALG.A.P., which has established provisions for decent work to focus on worker rights and safety. A sustainable livelihood for workers can be achieved by upgrading the value chain system through institutional reforms and an emerging philosophy of decent work put forth by the International Labour Organization. In this study, the effects of decency in the value chain on the income of on-farm workers were assessed at both GlobalG.A.P.-certified and non-certified orchards in Sindh and southern Punjab. Because of the food quality and safety standards required for certified orchards within the global value chain system, these compliant orchards offer greater potential for improving the livelihoods of on-farm workers. To overcome constraints, extensive awareness campaigns should be launched within the mango industry by institutional supportive bodies.


Decent work Global value chains Pakistan mango industry Sustainable livelihood GlobalG.A.P. compliance On-farm workers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Muhammad Bilal Ahsan
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mubashir Mehdi
    • 1
  • Burhan Ahmad
    • 1
  • Umar Sohaib Ahmad
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Business Management SciencesUniversity of AgricultureFaisalabadPakistan

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