Govt to facilitate agri sector through cut in production cost: Bosan

Published: May 27, 2016

KARACHI: National Food Security and Research Minister Sikandar Hayat Bosan has stressed the exporters of mango to export quality fruit as per the required standard of international markets.

"For production of qualitative mango, growers should ensure implementation of good agricultural practices in the country," he said while addressing a seminar on 'Awareness of Mango Exporters', organised by Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) in collaboration with USAID in a local hotel on Thursday.

He said that exporters should also support the growers, especially the small farmers, who are unable to survive in the present state of high cost of production, adding that the federal government is also going to provide maximum relief to the agricultural sector to reduce their cost of production. Bosan said that as production of cotton is also being slashed by 30 percent due to reduction of international price and non-cooperation on the part of textile industry, the exporters of mango should provide better rate to the farmers and work jointly to improve quality of the fruit.

The minister lauded the efforts made by PFVA for improvements in quality and increase in exports mango. He appreciated the association for meeting the international markets' standards and avoiding threat of ban on imports from Pakistan by the European markets. He also offered every possible support to the association for holding the national conference, which was planned and aimed at preparing a grand strategy for development in horticultural sector.

The minister informed that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has approved the formation of Citrus Development Board for quality production of citrus fruit.

Addressing the seminar, PFVA Chairman Waheed Ahmed said that his association was extending all possible support to the horticulture sector for increase in exports besides improvement in quality of fruit and vegetables. He said the association has already presented a roadmap of increasing export of the sector to $10 billion in next six years to the prime minister and a detailed presentation has also been made to President Mamnoon Hussain recently. He also informed the participants about challenges faced by the exporters in exploring new markets for lack of coordinated efforts, saying that the difficulties in registration of farms were also one of the problems being faced by the exporters.

He said that global warming is likely to pose serious threats to the production of fruit and vegetables in the country, adding that an effective strategy was needed to address the threat timely.

He said that with focusing on research and development and new varieties, the citrus export could be increased to $1 billion during next 10 years. He also thanked the federal government, USAID, Plant Protection Department, Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and the minister for making the seminar a successful event.

Addressing the seminar, TDAP Chief Executive S M Muneer said that the authority was to provide all support and coordination to PFVA for development in the horticulture sector. He also lauded efforts made by waheed Ahmed and his association for increase in exports.

USAID member Peter Dickrel also shared details about the ongoing projects of USAID in the agricultural sector. He also stressed on research and good agricultural practices for development of the horticultural sector.

The seminar was also addressed by PARC Chairman Dr Nadeem Amjad and Plant Protection Department Director Azam Khan. Later, a memorandum of understanding of coordination was also signed between PFVA and USAID.