FAISALABAD: The Punjab government has allocated Rs22 billion for better water management and productivity and Rs2 billion for the entire value chain in a bid to develop the agricultural sector, says a provincial government official.
Speaking at a workshop titled “Mango sea freight technology”, arranged by the Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Faisalabad here on Thursday, Provincial Agricultural Secretary Captain (Retd) Arif Nadeem said the Punjab government was targeting to tap European markets for its key farm products including poultry, meat, cereals, vegetables and fruits and would ensure international standards.
He said China-based Star Farms, in collaboration with the Punjab government, was setting up Global GAP-certified outlets in the country. The company, which has 2,000 branches across the world, will set up 45 customer points in Punjab. University’s Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad called for promoting mango sea freight by using quality-preserving technology which would generate heavy revenue through exports. “Despite producing on a large scale, our mango exports remain limited,” he said.
Ahmad said Pakistan could enhance shelf life of mangoes and preserve its taste and freshness for more than one month by using latest technology.
Mango is the second major fruit crop with production of around 1.7 million tons per annum and provides livelihood to hundreds of thousands of people. In 2009-10, about 734,000 tons of mango worth $23 million was exported. The top markets were UAE, UK, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 14th, 2011.