Realising the importance of research and development (R&D) in exports, Department of Agriculture & Agribusiness Management, Karachi University (DAAM-KU) and All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on July 29 to collaborate in promotion of R&D and exchange of information related to fruits, vegetable and value addition products.
They have agreed that: DAAM-KU: Will share it's research work including analysis and test reports related to fruits and vegetables on regular basis so that the exporters of the PFVA remain abreast of R&D carried by the DAAM-KU. Will provide guidance, support and technical assistance to the PEVA as and when required.
Will conduct training workshops for exporters of the PFVA as and when requested by the PFVA. The logic arrangement and other expenses incurred on conduct of such workshops would be bore by the PFVA. The venue would be decided with mutual consent. Will share its research work on value-addition related to mangos, apples and other fruits. Will conduct awareness programme for growers and exporters together as and when requested by the PFVA.
ON ITS PART PFVA: Will facilitate internship to the agriculture graduates of the DAAM-KU with leading exporters so that the young graduates could attain practical knowledge of the Industry (Fruits & Vegetables).
Will give first priority in extending employment opportunity to the graduates of the DAAM-KU as and when any vacancy is available for such graduates. Will assist DAAM-KU in projecting it's research work of fruits and vegetables in print and electronic media as when required, and Research work carried out by the DAAM-KU will be highlighted by PFVA through its official website for the benefit of horticulture industry of Pakistan.
The MOU is at-will and may be modified with the mutual consent of authorised individuals of PFVA and DAAM-KU. Once signed by authorised officials of both organisations the MoU will be effective from July 29, 2013 and remain in effect until further instructions. The MoU was signed by Waheed Ahmed, Chairman, PFVA, and Professor Dr Saleem Shahzad, Chairman, DAAM-KU on behalf of their respective organisations
The DAAM-KU delegation during its visit to PFVA offices was given a presentation by Chairman, PFVA, Waheed Ahmed. The first part of presentation relating to vegetable production in Pakistan mainly focused on research work related to tomato and its production, cultivated area and yield/acre. It also spelled out reasons for the stagnant production over a longer period of time and solution to increase production by increasing cultivated area, improving verity and practising Global GAP. However these have certain limitations due to environmental effects which is an uncontrollable factor. The Hydroponic Technology was explained in detail which is used to grow plant without soil and uses quite less water as well. Salient points covered were as follows:
--- Tomato production / hectare
--- Ways to enhance production / hectare
--- Green revolution Technology
--- Benefits of Hydroponics cultivation
--- Research plan which included :
a) Providing skilled manpower
b) On Farm Consultancy
c) Pre- feasibility study
d) Installation & Management of hydroponics farms on commercial scale
--- Training workshops & Seminars
The second part of presentation related to studies of food safety & post harvest losses in supply chain of mango, particularly yield, various diseases, specially fruit fly, pre-harvest and post harvest problems, pesticide management, various precautions to minimise pre/post harvest issues. It was concluded that if growers are educated, the pre-harvest issues which are in larger proportion compared to the post-harvest issues could be minimised to a great extent. Salient points covered were as follows:
--- Facts & Figures about production of mango in Pakistan
--- Issues concerning quality of mango during export
--- Major hurdles for export
--- Major causes of losses
--- Major reasons of post-harvest losses
--- Training awareness programs must be routine activity
The knowledgeable presentation covered all possible aspects, the exporters desperately look for. The Chairman PFVA spelled out his vision of R&D for the industry and his future plan to bring all stakeholders on one page with the assistance and co-ordination of DAAM-KU and also announced following incentives to support sincere efforts of DAAM-KU:
--- The PFVA would provide financial support to one student perusing his PhD programme at this University.
--- Full time / part time employment for a graduate in PFVA office.
--- Extending opportunity for employment in future for the graduates of KU in leading export companies. Those, who participated in the presentation included: Professor Dr Saleem Shehzad, Chairman, DAAM-KU, Shahan, Mohd Mujeeb, and Asad Mansoor. PVFA team included: Waheed Ahmed and Aslam Pakhali, Chairman and Vice-Chairman, Abdul Wahid, Abdul Malik, both ex-chairman, Zulfiqar Ahmed, and Ilyas Khan, Secretary General.