By Staff Report -
October 27, 2017
ISLAMABAD: In an initiative to give better access to fruit and vegetables of Balochistan in international markets, All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers & Merchants Association (PFVA) completed the consultation process with stakeholders of Balochistan for developing a roadmap for the uplift of the horticulture sector.
According to the statement of PFVA issued on Friday, a delegation of PFVA led by Patron-in-Chief Waheed Ahmed had visited the province on October 23-24, 2017 and held meetings with the Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai, Agriculture Secretary Mohammad Razzaq Khan, local growers and trade organisations of agri-produces and briefed them about developing a national policy on horticulture for speedy progress of the sector on eve of National conference on Horticulture in February 2018.
During the meeting with the Governor, Waheed Ahmed apprised him on the vision of PFVA and consultative meeting held at Quetta Chamber of Commerce and active participation by farmers and other stakeholders in highlighting issues of the sector in the province. The establishment of grading, processing and packing plants as common facilities in various parts of Balochistan is imminent to achieve this objective. Appreciating the vision of PFVA, the Governor assured to render full support and assistance in setting up common facilities centres in Balochistan.
Dishing out issues of the agriculture and horticulture sectors of Balochistan the stakeholders of consultative meeting voiced their concern about smuggling of fruits from Iran and Afghanistan as it is a big challenge, posing a serious threat to agriculture economy of Balochistan.
Apples from Balochistan can be promoted by giving them international exposure by launching campaigns similar to the one launched for mangos from Sindh and Punjab. And to achieve this goal a grand festival would be organized next year in Karachi, Ahmed assured. Of the collective export of fruits and vegetables of the country, the share of Balochistan is $ 45 million which can be enhanced to $ 150-200 million in short span of three years and to $ 1 billion in next few years by establishing research and development facilities, Ahmed forecasted. The land of Balochistan is highly favourable for good crops of onion and garlic, while with further improvement in quality apples, grapes, dates, cherries, peaches and apricots have excellent opportunities for export. Growers would be the main beneficiaries of this enhanced export campaign, he added