Karachi, August 29, 2013 (PPI-OT): The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has advised the SME traders of pulses to do value addition on gram lentil and export to gulf and middle east to utilize the unsold crop and save themselves from losses.
President UNISAME Zulfikar Thaver said that due to a production of almost 1.4 million tons of grams (channa dal) and consumption of almost half the quantity there is a surplus of 0.7 million metric tons which has brought the prices down to Rs 40 per kilogram (kg) although the production cost is Rs 45 per kg and causing a loss to the growers. If the export is not allowed then the growers will not grow in the coming season and will grow alternate items where they are able to sell at a profit.
Thaver urged the government to allow exports of about half a million tons as the international price is USD 490 per metric ton which will fetch around Rs 55 per kg and save the sector from losses. Secondly the government needs to lift the ban on value added items of gram to enable the SME exporters to fetch better prices and enter the pre-cooked market.
He said the shelf life of the pulse is not long and as a result it will gather defects making it unfit for human consumption so it is best to export it when it is in demand.
He suggested value addition and advised the SMEs to make gram flour (Besan), pre-cooked sweet and savouries items and export in attractive packing to super markets.
Nasir Patel a leading merchant of pulses said the traders have suffered huge losses due to the fall in prices of gram due to surplus and huge amounts have been blocked due to slow domestic demand and if the export is not allowed it will cause bigger losses.
He said a similar situation was overcome in the past and the government allowed export of gram and imposed regulatory duty on exports.
He added that the country can earn valuable foreign exchange by allowing exports and also save the gram industry from collapse by enabling continuity otherwise the SME farmers will stop growing gram if the ban on export continues.
He said the holy month of Ramazan has also passed and the government perhaps delayed the allowing of exports to avoid any increase in price as in Ramazan there is big demand for the gram and now that there is enough grams for domestic consumption the government needs to allow exports and can safely first allow 0.25 million metric tons and after examining the situation allow further 0.25 million metric tons and earn valuable foreign exchange and also resolve the issue of surplus channa dal in the best interest of the growers and traders.
For more information, Contact:
Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME)
75/1 3rd Commercial Street,
Phase IV, D.H.A., Karachi, Pakistan
Phones: + 92 35884225 and 6
Cell: + 92 300 8245307 and + 92 321 8245307
Fax: + 92 35380642