Agri sector has potential to turn around economy: FPCCI

March 17, 2015 Off By Web Desk

LAHORE: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) Chairman Standing Committee on Horticulture and Agriculture Produce, Ahmad Jawad called the Punjab Minister of Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javed in his office at Lahore to discuss on the agri sector transformation at provincial level.

While speaking with minister, Jawad said Punjab government may create conducive environment for agriculture related businesses and industries, especially in horticulture sector. Currently billions dollar trade done internationally clearly reflects the potential of this important sector.

He highlighted Pakistan one of the largest producers of mangoes, citrus and potato with major produce done by Punjab, but the lack of post-harvest CA stores infrastructure is seriously hampering Pakistan’s horticulture export potential.

However, every year roughly 30 percent of country total vegetable production and about 40 percent of fruits are being wasted. Quality-conscious foreign buyers want every exporting country to align their supply chains as per international standards in order to expand its share in the international market.

Unfortunately, lack awareness among mostly Pakistani exporters regarding global food safety standards, cohesive supply chains, and marketing systems are to blame for keeping the volume of the country’s produce export low. He said the reality is clear as horticulture exports can only be boosted if we can develop an integrated quality system.

He demanded that provincial government may allocate infrastructure budget in the upcoming budget under Public Private Partnership Mode (PPP) so that this sector may give maximum output in the country exports.

Dr.Farrukh said Punjab governemnt are very keen to expand provincial agriculture sector including horticulture. Its our desire that we may give due support to the private sector in order to enhance the export volumes. Yet Punjab government allocated Rs 227 million to control fruit fly from kinnow and mango orchards which hampers the quarantine requirements internationally.

Our department is working at district Sargodha and south Punjab areas to control this disease to facilitate our exporters. We also pass the bill at assembly for the certified seed to enhance farmers productivity. Similarly, in Potohar region we started olive production which can reduce the import oil bill in future, he added. He also appreciated the recommendation of Chairman Standing Committee FPCCI to provide due credit facility for the agri exporters through banks.

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