November 27, 2013
The lack of value-chain at pre-harvesting and post-harvesting periods of vegetables has caused the prevailing sky-rocketing prices of vegetables and food items in the country. This was stated by Provincial Chief, Small and Medium Enterprise Development Authority (Smeda), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Javed Iqbal Khattak while talking to this scribe on Monday.
He said that the value-chain begins from the inputs including the sowing of quality seeds, timely provision of fertilisers and capacity-building of the growers. The post-harvesting measures are included the use of modern technology in the storage and establishment of processing units.
He said that the vegetables included onions, tomatoes, potatoes and other vegetables are used to sell at very cheap rates during the season, but during off-seasons their prices go up by 100 percent. The reason behind such increase is the ignoring of the utilisation of technological side and use of the three different quality products of these agricultural produces. The technology can be used for the utilisation of all three qualities including best, middle and low quality agricultural products.
The provision of the facilities of the establishment of processing units and cold storages and vigilance on the prices of these products could help prevent the occurrence of present like situation. The other solution for overcoming the shortage of such items is their import and the saving made can be utilised on other requirements. He said that our country is lacking canning, dehydration facilities pulp and juices.
Courtesy Business Recorder