APFVEA chairman says export volume of fruits and vegetables stood at $625m in a year
By Tanveer Sher
KARACHI: Exploration of new markets for fruits and vegetables of the country has elicited positive results, which is evident from the fact that the country’s exports have made a substantial jump of 16 percent during the last one year.
According to All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association (APFVEA) Chairman Waheed Ahmad, never before such a steep increase was witnessed in the export volume of fruits and vegetables in a one-year period as the total value of export stood at $625 million. The increase may be attributed owing to export to new valued markets of South Korea, Mauritius and Japan regarded as rewarding markets for the Pakistani exporters.
Besides export of potato, regarded as one of the most essential kitchen items, also took off for Middle East after a yawning gap of seven years from the current season and is expected to increase manifold in coming days ahead as the quality and nutritional value of the vegetable was highly appreciated by the importers which speaks volume of its future demand. The total export volume of the potato was recorded at around 300,000 tonnes, which may be regarded as an achievement and herald better future for the growers and farmers who are receiving healthy rates for their hard work.
During the year 2012-13 new records were set for the export of kinnow, potato and onion as after three years gap, the export target for kinnow was also realised. Previous years the kinnow exporters had suffered colossal financial losses on account of fruits’ poor yield and its high rates making its uncompetitive in the international market.
Similarly a very high volume of around 2.5 million metric tonnes of onion was also exported to traditional markets across the globe and this can be attributed due to bumper Sindh crop, which helped the exporters in fulfilling their commitments with foreign buyers.
The PFVAEA chairman informed that with a view to improve the annual yield of all fruit and vegetable varieties and sustaining export goals over the period of time, the association realising the significance of research and development in this regard has started preparation of a national level roadmap in collaboration with all stakeholders including all agriculture universities of the country and concerned government departments.
In this regard several meetings had been held with Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial research and agriculture department of Karachi University for realising the goal of enhanced work in research and development sector, which would ultimately herald revolutionary changes in decades old system of agriculture practices.