FAISALABAD: Pakistan is mainly focusing on export of only two fruits – citrus and mangoes – despite the fact that the country has sufficient fertile land, best cropping system and excellent ecological zone and this underscores the need for promoting plantation of other fruits as well like guava, dates, water melon, pomegranate and strawberry.
However, lack of cold storages and post-harvest technologies for common farmers is a cause for grave concern, leading to loss of billions of rupees to the country annually.
Speakers raised these issues at a seminar on pre- and post-harvest technology for selected fruits in Punjab, organised by the Institute of Horticulture Sciences of University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF).
UAF Vice Chancellor Dr Iqrar Ahmad called for kicking off a massive campaign to promote cultivation of more fruits by giving awareness to the farming community of latest practices in order to boost the economy.
He said many fruit orchards were attacked by fruit fly, which must be protected by initiating research and creating awareness among farmers. He underlined the need for introducing new varieties of fruits keeping in view the climate and cropping system to increase productivity.
Ahmad suggested that fruit and vegetable markets should be set up in every corner of the country and asked the Punjab Horticulture Department to plant fruits close to roads and other places to increase its earnings.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 24th, 2012.
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