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Horticulture can bring in $2.5 billion Revenue

KARACHI All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers & Merchants Association (PFVA) has submitted recommendations to the Federal Minister National Food Security & Research (NFSR) regarding enhancement in horticulture production and exports leading to creation of ample employment opportunities.

According to Patron-in-chief and former Vice President FPCCI, Waheed Ahmed, provinces did not have adequate resources and potential for agriculture research.

Waheed Ahmed said that by effective implementation of “National Horticulture Vision”, a comprehensive policy on horticulture sector was developed jointly by PFVA and FPCCI, which could enhance current export of $620 million to $2.5 billion within five years and $6 billion within a span of a decade, if properly implemented.

“By adopting this vision, employment opportunities for 1.5 million people can also be created within a period of five years while four million people are anticipated to get jobs in this sector within a period of 10 years,” Waheed said.

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 and improving yield through extensive research, Waheed shared.

Production is severely affected when farms and orchards are supplied excessive water requirement while “drip system” being used in agriculture and horticulture sector in the world is very economical in effectively saving wastage of water.

Pakistan is to spend $10 billion on construction of dams which are anticipated to be commissioned in 7 to 8 years. However if $1.0 billion 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 help 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 Pakistan needs to take immediate measures to address the potential threat.

Highlighting role of Kinnow industry, Waheed Ahmed said that 3,75000 ton Kinnow worth $200 million 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 $1.0 billion, Waheed added.