CABI, PFVA sign MoU on promotion of horticulture exports

Published: May 20, 2016

CAB International (CABI) Central and West Asia and All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen the cooperation for skills development and Research and Development (R&D) in the horticulture sector in Pakistan. The agreement was signed by Dr Babar E Bajwa Regional Director CAB International and Waheed Ahmed Chairman PFVA this week in Islamabad. Chairamn PFVA told Business Recorder that the purpose of this MoU is to provide a framework for better collaboration, communication and cooperation between the Participants to help achieve their shared objective of the horticulture export development in Pakistan. "For the horticulture export development in Pakistan, broader goals would include, skills development of farm and pack house staff, diagnosis of the training needs and capacity-building of the fresh produce supply chain stakeholders to comply the buyers' requirements; fruit fly and mealy bug control; and disease management with modern techniques and implementation of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and SPS measures", he added. Talking about the main areas of collaboration and cooperation, he informed that main areas include many things but not limited. As part of CABI will develop a three years work plan for development of horticultural exports from Pakistan including resources, besides training of farm and pack house workers to generate skilled and technically sound workers for the exporters of fresh produce. In addition, management of insects and diseases of the fresh produce commodities with the application of advanced methods and application of state of the art tools, eg, "Go to Market", to ensure that the production and trade of the fresh produce commodities is in compliant with the international standards and buyer's requirements. While, PFVA role will be for promotion of CABI being a R&D and capacity-building organisation for funding by the national, regional, and international agencies. Waheed informed that PFVA will review, input and agree with three years' work plan developed by CABI for horticultural export development and facilitate CABI in making functional and financial arrangements with Export Development Fund of Government of Pakistan, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, National Vocational and Technical Training Commission, and Punjab Skills Development Fund for initiatives pertaining to the horticultural export development. Facilitation of CABI in implementing the projects and arrangement of PFVA members to work together with CABI in achievement of the mutual goal of horticulture export development in Pakistan will be managed by PFVA, he added. As per MoU, the participants are agreed to bring together all efforts for increasing exchange and communication and collaboration for the horticulture export development in Pakistan. The participants would conduct periodic meetings to discuss about the possible R&D and capacity-building opportunities and possible funding options as well as to review the progress made on joint initiatives taken. However, the location of the projects/activities for the purpose of this MoU will be flexible. CABI would establish and maintain a representative office of PFVA in Rawalpindi. Also CABI would facilitate PFVA during the visit of PFVA team members to Rawalpindi. Waheed informed that in future, the parties to this MoU may continue the active collaboration for the general development of agriculture policy and projects of mutual interest. This MoU commences on May 15, 2016 and runs to December 31, 2020 and unless extended by a mutual written agreement, automatically on its expiry. This MoU or part thereof may be revised at any time by mutual agreement of the parties, he added. Chairman PFVA said that CABI is a global, inter-governmental, not-for-profit organisation, owned and run by its 48-member countries, with 400 staff based in over 12 locations around the world, all of them experts in their field. From microbiologists and ecologists to content editors, book commissioners and web specialists. CABI has an annual turnover of 25 million GBP. "PFVA is persuading the government to further improve already available infrastructure facilities like cool chain system, reefer transport facilities, CA stores and common facility centres in all major fruit and vegetable growing areas so that as a result of that, the shelf life of fresh produce could be increased", he added. PFVA is also focusing on emerging markets and intends to capture new international markets. PFVA firmly believes that without R&D and allied capacity building in fresh produce industry, neither the exports can be enhanced nor new international markets can be captured, he concluded.