Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry for focusing on horticulture products to improve exports

Islamabad, June 26, 2015 (PPI-OT):Government should provide all possible support to farmers for improving productivity of fruits and vegetables as there is high demand for these Pakistani products in the international market. This was stressed by Muzzamil Hussain Sabri, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said with improvement in quality and value addition, fruits and vegetables could become an important source of foreign exchange earnings for the country.

He said Pakistan holds immense potential to promote exports of fruits and vegetables and capture better share in the global horticulture market of over $ 180 billion. However, the share of Pakistan in international horticulture market is just 0.3 percent and its main reason is that fruits and vegetables sectors have received minimal research, development and other supportive services from the government.

The result is that the country could not fully harness the export potential of its fruits and vegetable products so far as the fruit exports were just $ 438 million in financial year 2014. He said due to the insufficient attention of the government, the total production of fruits has gradually declined from around 7.0 million tons in 2009 to 6.52 million tons in 2013 which should be a cause of concerns for the policy makers.

He said due to lack of support from the government, many farmers have reduced production of fruits while lack of required investment in orchard management, and failure to contain post-harvest losses are other factors that are holding back this sector from better development.

Muzzamil Sabri said another key obstacle in the way of improving the per-tree production of various fruits is the lack of knowledge about specific diseases of fruits and the medicinal spray required to fight it. He said most of the pesticides being used are imported and prove very costly, especially for small and medium-sized farmers. Therefore, there is urgent need to focus on local production of pesticides for this sector.

He said government should focus on establishing more quality enhancement centers, processing units, dehydration plants and cold storage facilities in the country for processing and value addition of fruits and vegetables in line with the international standards. He said government should provide high-yielding seeds to farmers for better productivity of fruits and vegetables. He said there is also great need for more investment in picking, storage, transportation and grading of fruits and vegetables that would help in improving exports of these products.

For more information, contact:
Khalid Chaudhry
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526, 2253145, 8432676
Fax: +9251 225 2950