Financial institutions should support horticulture sector to increase exports: Ahmad Jawad

Islamabad: CEO Harvest Tradings Ahmad Jawad has stressed upon the need that Financial institutions should support horticulture sector in order to increase exports. Pakistan is facing severe competition in value-added horticulture products from various large regions of the world.

Due to large difference in prices, Pakistani exporters are finding it difficult to exploit highly valued markets, particularly in the Gulf and European region for fruit products, he added.

While speaking in workshop on Wednesday he said unlimited opportunities were available for the export of fruits and vegetables and with a little more efforts exports could reach $ 1 billion in three years easily.

He said that currently over 28 types of fruits and 30 types of vegetables are growing in the Pakistan all around the year and a large amount of these are consumed in the domestic markets.

Comparing performance of Pakistan in the context of horticulture products with India, India has well arisen as the world’s second largest fruit producing country and it achieved also a substantial increase in the production of horticultural crops in recent years, he added.

He said that as the world horticulture market is valued at $80 billion to which Pakistan contributes a small share and only 16 per cent of fruits are being processed.

Jawad briefed the growth of the horticulture industry in the country can only be possible when the dominating role of middleman is reduced in the whole process and the exports of horticulture could be enhanced manifold provided the farmers get direct benefit.

Subsequently, country may also need Sanitary and Phytosanitary measures for food safety legislation to ensure compliance of horticulture products for better access to global markets, he said.

He pointed out issues like inadequate air cargo space, shortage of controlled atmosphere and reefer container for sea shipment, provision of special air freight rates for export of horticultural products, financial support to farmers and exporters in the shape of loans, guarantees should be taken on priority as required.