USAID to assist in production of dates

Pakistan missing out on its potential; exports 18% of total produce.


Ppi July 25, 2012

KARACHI:


The US Agency for International Development (USAID) through its Firms project is launching a pilot programme to assist small and medium enterprises (SME) in date farming and processing in Khairpur and Sukkur. These are Pakistan’s major date-producing districts, contributing to around 40% to 45% of country’s total date production.


Pakistan, the fifth largest producer of dates in the world and having significant export prospects, is not capitalising on its potential and exports just over 18% of its total production. Lack of awareness on best farming practices, improper fruit handling techniques, absence of developed processing facilities are major constraints inhibiting profitable date production.

USAID’s pilot programme aims to increase economic value of dates by mitigating these constraints and removing bottlenecks. Its design is geared to replicable, scalable, sustainable results, benefitting 40 to 45 SMEs in date farming at Khairpur and Sukkur through provision of food-grade plastic crates, boom sprayers, date palm dryers. The agency is providing three SMEs date processors with equipment to detect physical contamination, food grade processing tables, small cold storage rooms, assistance for hazard analysis and critical control points and International Organisation for Standardisation certification to address phytosanitary, food safety, and quality requirements of the international market.

Firms project is finalising the cost-share agreements with the three date processing SMEs to include workforce training, infrastructure, technical assistance for quality certifications, support for international market linkages which is expected to result in at least 15% increase in sales and 10% increase in production for supported SMEs with up to 15% increase in jobs.

USAID plans to provide cost-share assistance to establish a commercial cold storage facility which will be first facility in the district dedicated to dates. Based on programme’s design, partner SMEs project 10% increase in production, generating more than $200,000 in incremental income, likely resulting in hundreds of new jobs.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 26th, 2012.

COMMENTS (5)

Mujahid Ali | 8 years ago | Reply

Panjgoor Makran producing districts is many Dates and very high quality but there is no date farming and processing in Panjgoor.These Date are Pakistan’s major high quality date. Our Organization "Development Organization for Community" (DOC) trying to establish a small date farming and processing at Panjgoor.our Organization Development Organization for Community (DOC) Requested USAID help and establish date farming and processing facility which will be first facility in the district Panjgoor.

Thanks Mujahid Ali Baloch Address: Office Development Organization for Community (DOC) Tasp District Panjgoor Balochistan Pakistan P/C:93007 Cell No:0333-7802241 Ph No:0855-611136 E-mail:[email protected]
Ammar | 8 years ago | Reply

@All: Khairpur District is self sufficient to produce dates with high quality and it is exporting thousand of tons annually. USAID has been providing assistance in terms of technical, financial and human resource. I know because I'm in touch with USAID.

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