Islamabad: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani has directed the Ministry of Commerce and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) to focus on the export of fruits and vegetables by improving the supply chain and meeting the quality standards as per the international regulations.
The Prime Minister said this during a presentation by TDAP on Export Promotion Strategy of Fruit and Vegetables and related issues at PM’s House today. The Prime Minister appreciated the fact that export of fruits has more than doubled while vegetables’ export registered a four-fold increase during the last four years as compared to the previous four years (2004-2008).
The export is, however, still short of the potential, the Prime Minister observed. The Prime Minister stressed the Ministry of Commerce and TDAP to set up cold storage facilities in Sargodha and Bhalwal for kinnows, Rahim Yar Khan, Multan and Mirpur Khas to increase the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables.
The Prime Minister also appreciated the efforts being made by the Ministry of Commerce and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan, adding these organizations should reach out to research institutions and provinces for maximizing export potential and come up with a comprehensive plan for enhancing productivity, reducing post-harvest losses and enhancing competitiveness for achieving higher prices, the Prime Minister added.
The Prime Minister directed that the strategy should be evolved to boost exports of fruits and vegetables following the principles of public-private partnership. The Prime Minister directed the TDAP to organize an exhibition of quality products in Qatar where the government promised during his visit to extend all-out assistance for holding such an exhibition to create demand for Pakistani fruits and vegetables.
The Secretary Commerce said that Pakistan has a great potential for export of fruits and vegetables and Ministry of Commerce has plans to increase export to the World market. Though we are the fourth largest producer of Dates, we stand at 6th place among the Date exporting countries on value-basis, the Secretary said.
The Secretary said the Government has planned to establish Mango Pack House and Cold Storage common facility centres at Multan and Nawabshah, Dates Processing Institute at Khairpur, Agro Food Technology Institute at Lahore, Vapour Heat Treatment (VHT) Plant common facility centre at Karachi, Secretary Commerce said. Valued addition is an integral part of the strategy, the Secretary said.
The Ministry of Commerce apprised the meeting about the new markets for Pakistani mangoes and kinnows in Japan, USA, Mauritius, Lebanon, Australia, New Zeeland, South Korea, South Africa and Iran.
Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Secretary Commerce, Secretary Planning and Development Division, Secretary National Food Security and Research, Chairman FBR, Chief Executive TDAP and other senior officers were present in the meeting.
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