Agricultural exporters look to academia for solutions

Published: August 8, 2013
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According to the agreement, the UAF shall develop short, medium and long term road maps for enhancement of exports in consultation with the exporters of the PFVA. PHOTO: FILE

According to the agreement, the UAF shall develop short, medium and long term road maps for enhancement of exports in consultation with the exporters of the PFVA. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHI: University of Agriculture Faisalabad (UAF) and Pakistan Fruits and Vegetables Exporters Association (PFVA) have signed an agreement for research on fruit and vegetable diseases especially those that are hindering agriculture exports in Pakistan.

The top body of exporters and growers sought help from UAF to control widespread diseases especially the presence of ‘fruit fly’ – one of the biggest reasons why Pakistan’s mango consignments were rejected this year by the United Kingdom.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Vice Chancellor UAF Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan (SI) and Chairman PFVA Waheed Ahmed.

According to the agreement, the UAF shall develop short, medium and long term road maps for enhancement of exports in consultation with the exporters of the PFVA.

The research team leaders of UAF will develop pre-harvest and post harvest protocols and ‘Product Groups’ for various products like Mango, Kinnow, Onion and Potato after consultation with all stakeholders. The university will conduct workshops to train selected exporters who will in turn conduct awareness training for the growers. UAF will also share existing research work on citrus and mango with PFVA.

PFVA will provide the list of issues to UAF where research work is required while the expenses of research work will be shared on an 80/20 sharing formula between the Higher Education Commission and PFVA.

“This agreement is a milestone as this will provide us an opportunity to find solutions to difficult industry issues like fruit and vegetable diseases and low agriculture output of the country,” Chairman PFVA Waheed Ahmed told The Express Tribune.

This will also help our agriculture industry, as we will be able to develop new varieties of fruits and vegetables that are necessary to feed our growing population and slow growing exports, he said.

This is the first time PFVA has collaborated with UAF.

“Chile, a small South American country, with limited agriculture resources generates $2 billion from exports. Why is Pakistan – with much more resources and a bigger agricultural base – unable to achieve the same amount of export revenue if not more?” said Waheed, adding that the solution of this question lies in how much we strive for Research and Development.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 9th, 2013.

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Reader Comments (5)

  • It Is (still) Economy Stupid
    Aug 9, 2013 - 2:31PM

    Chile, Dominican Republic, Costa Ricca and Argentina are major exporter of vegetable and fruits. One of the reason is that the parent company of the exporter are based in the importer country. These companies allow USDA, CFIA and other regulatory agencies to inspect the crop on their soil prior to loading into the plane. Indian companies have borrowed the leaf from these countries and have developed phytosanitation facilities in Amritsar. The other issue is lack of respect for regulations. e.g. Yellow dates and dried dates from Pakistan are treated with formaldehyde to preserve the yellow color. Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen and no country with right mind will allow import of these yellow dates. Rejection of shipment in UK has to do with poor phytosanitation due to lax attitude. Some people think bribing will allow them to by pass the regulations. Unfortunately not every person is for sale and system will catch up with you soon or later. This is what happened in UK when they found the bugs in the mangoes. Countries who want to export agriculture products should participate actively in Codex and train consultants in the regulations and standards developed by Codex.

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  • unbelievable
    Aug 9, 2013 - 7:14PM

    Use some common sense – fruit production is common throughout the World and fruit fly’s are not something unique in Pakistan. This problem has been solved already and all you have to do is pick up the phone or use Google (assuming it’s not banned yet).

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  • Humayun
    Aug 10, 2013 - 6:47AM

    sounds like a progressive step….good luck

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  • Humayun
    Aug 10, 2013 - 7:10AM

    Any research, support, study or help for once green Ziarat Balochistan Orchids ?

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  • FAISAL
    Aug 12, 2013 - 12:17AM

    I WANT TO SHARE THAT FRUIT FLY IS ONE OF IMPORTANT PROBLEM FOR PAKISTAN BUT UK ALSO IMPORT LOCAL LEVEL OF MANGOES FROM OTHER COUNTRIES.Recommend

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