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Agriculture plays vital role in national economy
Monday, October-01-2007

TANDO JAM (October 01 2007): Professor Saghir Ahmed Sheikh Director Institute of Food Science and Technology Sindh Agriculture University Tando Jam has said that Pakistan with favourable climate, abundant water and productive soil to grow variety of crops throughout the year. Amongst four provinces of Pakistan Sindh has the benefit to produce early crops than other three provinces.

Many crops grown include cereals pulses, fruits and vegetables, however, agriculture is the backbone of Pakistan and plays an important role in the national economy. The Agriculture sector in Pakistan is single largest sector of its economy.

Amongst other agriculture crops, fruits and vegetables also play an important role not only in earning foreign exchange but also fulfilling the nutritional requirements of the people. It is also a fact that approximately 40 to 45 percent of produce is wasted due to the lack of knowledge and shortage of trained manpower in the field of post harvest operations such as harvesting techniques, handling, packaging, transportation and storage.

This wastage on one hand causes monetary loss to farmer and on the other this is loss of nutritional benefit. Despite the fact that agriculture is the major source of economy of Pakistan, there is an acute shortage of agro based food industry which can convert potential wastage into nutritional and usable form and adoption of appropriate processing and preservation techniques for making the food availability in the form of products as well.

Fruits and vegetables can be processed in many different ways depending on the types of raw material and the end product. The techniques most frequently used are: canning, bottling accompanied by heat treatment, refrigeration or freezing, fermentation, drying, pickling and chemical preservation.

In most cases, the aim is to lengthen the shelf life (reduce the perishability) of the product and make it available for use in off seasons.

Courtesy Copyright Business Recorder, 2007

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