Horticulture export can be enhanced to 2.5 billion US$ -Waheed Ahmed

BUSINESS

KARACHI – Horticulture export can be enhanced to 2.5 billion US$ in 5 years creating jobs for 1.5 million people ; Introduction of drip irrigation system can save water wastage equivalent to the capacity of two dams – Waheed Ahmed, Patron -in-Chief PFVA

All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers & Merchants Association (PFVA) has submitted recommendations to the Federal Minister National Food Security & Research (NFSR) regarding enhancement in production & exports of Fruits & Vegetables leading to creation of ample employment opportunities for millions of jobless people. According to Patron-in-chief & Former Vice President FPCCI , Waheed Ahmed , with introduction of 18th amendments the Agriculture sector has been terribly hurt, the provinces do not have adequate resources and potential for agriculture research leading to serious threat to Food security of Pakistan and by introducing latest irrigation system in Agriculture , water wastage equivalent to capacity of two dams can be saved in a period of three years .

Recently a grand event titled “Kinnow convention – 2019”was organized under the supervision of PFVA to highlight issues and potential of the horticulture sector and the occasion was graced with honourable presence of the Federal Minister (NFSR ) Sahibzada Mohaammad Sultan being the chief guest the event . Overwhelming majority of growers of Kinnow, exporters and owners of pack houses participated in this event. Paying rich tribute to vital role and extensive efforts by PFVA for uplift of the Horticulture sector, the Federal Minister pledged that the Federal Govt. would play a significant role in development and enhancement export of this sector. Taking advantage of the road map developed by PFVA, supporting policies would be formulated to enhance production and export of fruits and vegetables. Addressing the convention, Waheed Ahmed highlighted that by effective implementation of “National Horticulture Vision”, a comprehensive policy on Horticulture sector was developed jointly by mutual cooperation of PFVA & FPCCI which can enhance current export of 620 million USS to 2.5 billion US$ within 5 years and 6 billion US$ within a span of a decade, if true implemented . By adopting this vision, employment opportunities for 1.5 million people can also be created within a period of five years while 4 million people are anticipated to get jobs in this sector within a period of 10 years. The cost of high production is a tough challenge for further growth of the sector which can be conveniently sort out by exploring new varieties & improving yield per acre through extensive research – Waheed shared.  For effective implementation of FVA’s Horticulture vision we would organize Seminars in consultation with all Provincial & Federal Govt. so that efforts by  the Provincial Govts . can be made effective & fruitful by improvement in quality and production of Fruits & Vegetables on the provincial levels and getting the farmers well aware of latest technologies currently in use in the developed countries , the barriers in development of Horticulture sector can be eliminated – Waheed further added .

Waheed said that 90 percent available water is used in the agriculture sector while 60 percent water is wasted due to open canals. Production is severely affected when Farms & Orchards are supplied excessive water more than it’s requirement while “drip system” being used in Agriculture & Horticulture sector in the world is very economical in effectively saving wastage of water. Pakistan is to spend 10 billion US$ on construction of Dams which are anticipated to be commissioned in 7 to 8 years. However if one billion US$ is spent to develop “drip irrigation system” , it can save amount of water likely to be wasted equivalent to capacity of two dams which can address serious issue of increasing Food Security in the country . Pakistan ranks seventh in the World in the list of affected countries due to global warming according the report by the World Bank and Agriculture wing of the United Nation on Food Agriculture Organization (F.A.O.) which clearly indicates that we need to take immediate necessary steps on war footings to address this potential serious threat, which may take 2-3 years before positive impact of these step become evident – Waheed cautioned. .

Highlighting role of Kinnow Industry in the Horticulture sector , Waheed Ahmed said that 3,75000 ton Kinnow worth of 200 million US$ was exported last year and with introduction of new varieties of Citrus fruit coupled with  increase  in cultivated area of Kinnow , export of the fruit can be further enhanced  to one billion US$  – Waheed added .  If short term recommendations of PFVA’s Horticulture vision is implemented by taking proposed steps,  export can be enhanced to one billion US$ within a year – Waheed confidently expressed .