KARACHI: Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FPCCI) Standing Committee on Horticulture & Agriculture Produce’s Chairman, Ahmad Jawad said CEO TDAP SM Muneer had failed to devise any concrete strategy to facilitate horticulture exports.
“The country exports are falling down. Though Pakistan has an immense potential in the horticulture sectors, but TDAP, which has mandate to play its important role to increase exports, does not focus on the horticulture exports which is termed as a golden basket,” he said.
He said that Pakistan’s share in global horticulture exports is just 0.3%, which is grave unfortunate. “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, required infrastructure is established and TDAP takes required interest.”
“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. Yet Pakistan dates have lack of processing infrastructure despite the fact we are 4th largest producer in the world and produce more than 250 varieties
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 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 2016-20 on priority and enlist the yearly allocation in the PSDP (Public Sector Development Programme) after consultation with FPCCI