KARACHI: The fact that Pakistan’s share in global horticulture exports is just 0.3% is highly unfortunate, Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Chairman on Horticulture and Agriculture Produce Ahmad Jawad.
However, he said that the horticulture exports could grow to iconic proportions and touch as high as $7 billion in the next decade if Research and Development (R&D) is vigorously pursued and required infrastructure is established.
“Pakistani fruits and vegetables have great export potential that needs to be harnessed to capture hungry world markets where Pakistani mangoes, dates and kinnow in particular, are in great demand,” said Jawad.
He further stressed that the only way to capture the global market is to process, add value and improve the shelf life of the perishable commodities to benefit small farmers and also the country at large.
“I strongly desire that FPCCI and other departments play a prominent role in the enhancement of fresh produce exports to increase export volumes,” he remarked.
According to Jawad, apart from the few circumstances like floods, the main cause of import of fruits and vegetables is our non-serious attitude towards infrastructure, R&D and issues coupled with our inherent national characteristic of resolving problems only when they get out of proportion.
He stressed upon the Ministry of Commerce and Planning Commission to draft and implement the horticulture export policy for the period of 2015-20 on priority and enlist the yearly allocation in the PSDP (Public Sector Development Programme) after consultation with FPCCI.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 6th, 2015.