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Review needed on export of fruits and vegetables.

In 2014-15 PAKISTAN'S global exports of fresh fruits, vegetables and their value-added products stood at mere $671m. Main reasons behind this were lower yield, high cost of production, poor quality of produce, lack of new crop varieties and procedural flaws in taxes.

Another area of concern is the Smuggling of fruits and vegetables to the neighbouring countries. Exporters estimate that exports can fetch $6bn in the next 10 years if an incentive package is initiated in the upcoming budget.

All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association Chairman Waheed Ahmad said that potential of this promising sector has remained untapped. "We have given a comprehensive presentation to the prime minister recently on issues in developing the sector," he added.

In a detailed report, the association has listed short-, mediumand long-term measures to promote export from the sector over the next 10 years.

The untapped fruits for export include banana, guava, ber, cheeko, papaya and jamun. And the vegetables with export potential include bitter gourd, okra, tinda, gourd, cauliflower and eggplant.

In the identified value-added sector, major products are kinno juice concentrate, mango pulp, apple juice concentrate, apple puree. The exports of these value-added products were mere $4.2m in last fiscal year when the global trade in these commodities is more than $25bn.

The exporters association wants surveillance of land routes to control smuggling and extension in the utilization period of materials/goods under DTRE scheme to 24 months from current 12 months.

There is also a need to develop a policy on sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) issues. Currently, there is no strategy in place to address the problems of standards, certifications and compliances for export of agriculture products.

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Publication:Pakistan Food Journal
Date:Jun 30, 2016
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