LAHORE: Pakistan, which produces more than 50 million tons of sugarcane almost every year, can export the commodity to the Middle East, particularly Dubai which has expressed interest in importing sugarcane since last year, an exporter of horticultural products suggests.
“This crop has a good shelf life and I don’t know why we are far behind,” said Harvest Tradings CEO Ahmad Jawad while talking to The Express Tribune.
“Despite the fact that our farmers have no vision and alternatives where they may consume their crop, I believe that we have been extremely negligent on the sugarcane front,” he said.
Sugarcane growers were still on the sharp edge of ‘prevalent policies’ and were constantly bearing the brunt of circumstances despite repeated claims by the government and sugar millers of streamlining payments and related affairs with the growers, he said.
He said Dubai was an attractive market and not far from the country, adding Malaysia targeted to export 2.7 million sugarcane stems every month to Dubai to meet its demand.
In Dubai malls, Jawad said, demand for pure sugarcane juice was increasing day by day. The market price for export of sugarcane to Dubai was $0.65 per stem for Grade A.
“It’s time that we offer a different agricultural product to the world, as agriculture is a source that can make maximum contribution to the country’s exports,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 18th, 2012.
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