KARACHI: Punjab Minister of Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javed has said the provincial government has allocated Rs227 million to control the threat of fruit flies in oranges (kinnow) and mango orchards in Punjab.
“We want to provide support to the private sector in order to enhance export volumes,” he said, during his meeting with Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Standing Committee Chairman Ahmad Jawad.
Dr Farrukh said the Punjab government is keen on improving the provincial agriculture sector, including horticulture.
He said that his department is working in Sargodha – Punjab’s major fruit growing area especially for oranges – and south Punjab to control the problem of fruit flies and facilitate exporters. Similarly, in the Potohar region, olive production has started, which can reduce the oil import bill, he added.
He also said that the provincial assembly has also passed the bill for certified seeds to enhance farmer’s productivity.
While speaking to the minister, Jawad said that the Punjab government can create a conducive environment for agriculture related businesses and industries especially in the horticulture sector.
The size of international fruit and vegetable trade is growing, and its current international trade runs in billions of dollars that reflects the potential of the horticulture sector.
He said that Pakistan is one of the largest producers of mangoes, citrus and potato, but due to the lack of proper infrastructure including cold storage is seriously hampering Pakistan’s horticulture export potential.
Every year, roughly 30% of the country’s total vegetable production and about 40% of fruits is being wasted. Currently, Pakistan’s export volume in horticulture sector is $400 million, which is insignificant if we compare with Indian exports worth $2.5 billion, added Jawad.
Quality-conscious foreign buyers demand that every fruit and vegetable exporting country to upgrade their supply chains as per international standards if they want to grow their share in the international market. Unfortunately, lack of awareness among most Pakistani exporters regarding global food safety standards, cohesive supply chains, and marketing systems are to blame for low export volumes.
Jawad said the picture is quite clear. “Pakistan’s horticulture exports can only be boosted if we can develop an integrated quality system.”
Published in The Express Tribune, April 1st, 2015.
Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ