QUETTA: The Balochistan government is taking steps to exploit the existing potential in every sector of the province in an attempt to increase revenue and improve the economic condition of the area.
The Provincial Planning and Development department has said that the present government has launched a number of projects in horticulture, livestock and tourism sectors aimed at improving their production and quality.
“The province is famous for its high quality apples, of which a major chunk goes to waste due to absence of facilities enabling the growers to export their products to the rest of the region.”
According to sources, the government has launched a Rs50-million project under which apple grading and packaging facilities will be established in Ziarat and Kalat districts.
Similarly, a Date Process and Packaging unit is being set up in the Makran region where the best varieties of dates are produced. “This unit is being established at a cost of Rs50 million which after completion will pave the way for Makran dates to reach other parts of the country.”
The Provincial Planning and Development department sources added Pakistan annually spends a huge foreign exchequer on importing dates which can be saved.
The provincial government has also started work on establishing a tomato paste plant at the cost of Rs50 million, which, on completion, will decrease wastage of tomato crops in the province to a considerable extent.
Besides, an olive production project has also been launched in the province at a cost of Rs70 million to motivate the growers in arid and semi-arid areas of the province to grow this least water consuming crop in their field instead of high-water consuming crop.
They said the provincial government is also constructing a meat processing and packaging plant in the provincial capital. The projects is being implemented at a cost of Rs50 million and, after completion, will provide livestock holders the opportunity to export their products to international markets on high prices.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 21st, 2015.