Fruit, vegetable output not enough to match consumption
By Tanveer Sher
KARACHI: Pakistan’s fruit and vegetable annual production does not match the fast-growing population of the country’s requirement owing to lack of good agriculture practices. If such a situation prolongs then the country may turn into an importing nation.
One of the major reasons for the declining annual yield of fruits and vegetables is lack of focus on research and development (R&D) by the Pakistan Horticulture Industry.
According to All Pakistan Vegetable and Fruit Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association Chairman Waheed Ahmad, owing to lack of agricultural practices and employing centuries old method of agriculture by the farmers and growers, per acre yield of almost all fruits and vegetables are facing a decline.
Citing instances in this regard, he said that for decades Pakistan is exporting one variety of kinnow to overseas buyers with no change in its taste or variety. Compared to the same, China has developed eight varieties of citrus fruit, which also contains seedless kinnow, which is fast gaining popularity across the globe.
Besides kinnow, the other fruit variety, which is popular across the globe is mango but the export of both fruits are on a limited scale crossing hardly 150,000 tonnes mark drawing serious attention of all stakeholders.
In this regard the association has started a massive campaign to communicate with agriculture universities, research institutes and researches across the country to chalk out a comprehensive plan for identifying hosts of issues being faced by the horticulture and agriculture sectors in the country and evolve a comprehensive national integrated plan to sort out the burning issues hurting fruit and vegetable exports of the country.
In this regard by seeking cooperation of agriculture universities and research institutions seminars and workshops would be held to create awareness about complete supply chain of horticulture sector, and involvement of farmers and exporters in employing good agriculture practices, which would ultimately help boost annual yield of all fruits thus helping the country to enhance exports of fruits.
In Pakistan enhancing R&D activities in horticulture and agriculture sectors may help the country to boost its present annual export to the level of $7 billion in the next 10 years as compared to present total export volume of $525 million.
Any delay in this regard may have a negative impact on the existing export of two major fruits of the country as the growing competition in the international market could reverse existing volume of export of Pakistani fruits. Courtesy Daily Times
Published in ZaraiMedia.com