Saturday, October 28, 2017

Balochistan can earn Pakistan up to $1 billion a year

https://tribune.com.pk/story/1543268/2-balochistan-can-earn-pakistan-1-billion-year/



By Our Correspondent

Published: October 28, 20

PFVA says that the establishment of grading, processing and packing plants as common facilities in various parts of Balochistan is imminent. PHOTO: FILE

KARACHIBalochistan alone has the potential to earn Pakistan up to $1 billion a year from fruit and vegetable exports, according to initial findings of All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers & Merchants Association (PFVA).

But this will happen if international good practices are adopted, added the representative organisation of fresh food exporters that has recently completed a consultative process with stakeholders in Balochistan to develop a road map for the sector.

“The PFVA’s vision would provide long-lasting solutions of problems like food security,” a press release quoted former PFVA chairman Waheed Ahmed as saying.

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A PFVA delegation recently met Balochistan Governor Mohammad Khan Achakzai, growers and trade organisations and briefed them about the vision of the association to develop a national policy of horticulture.

The PFVA is gathering support throughout the country for its upcoming “National conference on Horticulture” which will be organised in February 2018.

The association briefed the governor and held consultative meetings at the Quetta Chamber of Commerce to increase the participation of farmers and other stakeholders in highlighting issues of the sector.

The current share of export volume of fruits and vegetables from the province is $45 million, which can be enhanced to $1 billion by establishing Research and Development facilities, Ahmed said.

Pakistan suffers due to low volume of exports overall, aggravating economic issues like a widening trade and current account deficit. Experts have time and again highlighted the need to increase exports and tap sectors other than textile to address economic issues.

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The PFVA says that the establishment of grading, processing and packing plants as common facilities in various parts of Balochistan is imminent to achieve this objective. The governor assured to render full support and assistance is setting up common facilities centres in Balochistan, the release added.

Pakistan exported $641 million worth of horticulture products in fiscal year 2016. However, PFVA officials say the country can touch a volume of up to $7 billion within a decade if the federal and provincial governments frame friendlier policies.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 28th, 2017

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