KARACHI: Pakistan’s current export of fruits/vegetables from $525 million can be enhanced to $7 billion in the next 10 years if growers use modern agriculture technology and employ good agriculture practices to boost their annual yield
At this moment the reluctance of growers to use modern agriculture technology, non-adherence to the good agriculture practices, lack of research and development and communication gap between growers and exporters are a few key factors impeding enhancement of exports and is required to be addressed.
Director General Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR) Dr S Naimat Ali Rizvi meeting with the Chairman of All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association (PFVA) Waheed Ahmad expressed desire the Council would play an active role for conducting training workshops/seminar for bridging the communication gap between growers and exporters.
He stressed the need for making all stakeholders in the supply chain (growers, Customs, ANF, Plant Protection Department, shipping liens, airlines, exporters, print and electronic media and agri-research institutions/ organisations etc) through the PCSIR to make them aware of their precise role keeping the time and temperature sensitivity of the products (fruits/vegetables). The PFVA and the PCSIR should sign an accord to work closely together.
He assured the Council could develop a specific pesticide for a particular issue, assist the PFVA in developing Ethylene Chambers for ripening various fruits, conduct seminars for growers/exporters for bridging the communication gap, assist growers in multiplying the yield significantly by use of ‘Plant Tissue Culture Technology’ which would ultimately give benefits to the exports as well.
Chairman PFVA said other countries have already started working on likely impact of ‘Global Warming’ on the agriculture and we have not yet started thinking about this future threat.
Growers are not following good agriculture practices and are unaware of current trend in this sector. They are required to be made aware of modern technology being used globally to get better yield.
The fruit exporters of Pakistan are confronted with various problems like fruit flies, lack of varieties of products, low productivity and if these are not seriously tackled, the time is not far when we instead of exporting fruits/ vegetables would become an importing country, a severe blow on our face being as an agriculture country.
The solution of these burning issues lies in commencement of the research and development (R&D) facilities in all provinces of Pakistan, which is vital for continuous product development, to enhance exports, compete in the international markets and to remain in the agri-business.
In this regard vice chancellor of University of Agriculture Faisalabad was also approached with the sole objective to seek technical assistance, advice and support of such institutions and organisations in setting up R&D facilities for the PFVA.
The agenda of this meeting was to share concern of the PFVA about the issues/problems related to export of fruits and vegetables, vision of the PFVA about R& D in this segment of agri-business, seek technical assistance, advice and support of the PCSIR in establishment of R&D facilities for the PFVA and get familiar with their labs and research work in the agri-business with a view to get help from them in future for industry.
We are just relying on one variety of kinnow since ages where as in China they managed to develop eight different varieties including seedless kinnow, hence there is a dire need of product development in our country, he added.