KARACHI: Keeping in view the present declining trend in overall exports and foreseeing the opportunities of enhancing foreign trade in horticulture sector, exporters have come forward to make a” National Framework” on horticulture produce with coordination with provincial governments, federal government, regulators and other authorities concerned.
The proposed national frame will be aimed at resolving issues related to the sector starting from farm to consumers. Governments of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Gilgit Baltistan and other stakeholders will be giving their inputs and support to frame and implement the framework. The recommendations of provincial governments including AJK and GB would later be submitted to federal government for approval and implementation.
This was decided in a meeting of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Standing Committee on Fruit and Vegetable Exports with its chairman Waheed Ahmed in the chair at Federation House on Thursday.
Babar Bajwa Regional Director of the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) Central and West Asia, Dr Suhail Ahmed, Dr Umar, Abdul Malik, Aslam Pakhali, Bismillah Khan and others had attended the meeting.
Talking about aims and objectives of the proposed framework, Waheed Ahmed, who is also patron in chief of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA), said that the framework is aimed at giving short, mid and long terms policies for meeting the challenges and opportunities of growth in horticulture sector. This way, he said, the country will be able to increase production, introduce varieties and value added products while meeting market demands of standard.
Through the national framework, all provinces and AJK/GB would be given suggestion and guidelines of bets agricultural practices to ultimately support the overall exports in the neglected sector. “Once the consultation with province are completed a national seminar would be organized in which experts, concerned departments and private sectors would finalize proposals for the national agenda,” he said.
Foreign investors would also be invited to invest in the horticulture sector. The foreign experts and researchers of renowned agricultural universities would also present their research papers in the seminar.
Addressing the meeting, Dr Babar Bajwa said that the framework will help in resolving problems faced by exporters, traders and growers throughout the supply chain process. The major issues the stakeholders usually faced are technical and documentary issues at regulators. The representative of PCSIR also stressed on consulting agricultural universities of the country for making the framework as the universities could produce better results with minimum cost.
Chairman PFVA Abdul Malik also announced that his association would extend all possible support for the historic move. The representative from Balochistan Bismillah Khan said his province could produce qualitative fruits including grapes, apple, strawberry and citrus fruits to export the same to Russia, Middle Easters countries especially to China taking advantage from the multi billion dollar project of CPEC.