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KARACHI: Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) Vice President Ahmed Jawad has said Egypt provides a good case study for Pakistan to learn from as Egypt focused on capturing export markets for its horticulture commodities and currently exports about USD 3.2 billion on the account of oranges, grapes, potatoes, strawberries and onions to the Russian Federation, European Union and the Middle East.

He said due to prevailing situation of Covid-19 globally has compelled the world to consume a variety of fruits and vegetables, especially orange (Kinnow) which contains maximum vitamins to minimize the ill effects and risks and enhance immunity against the pandemic, but we didn’t capture this novel opportunity.

Horticulture 2030 vision could contribute six billion dollars before national exchequer and generate employment opportunities to 1.5 million people in five years who were directly engaged in this sector, while 3 million people will get employment in this sector with in one decade.

As Pakistan yet to take appropriate pie from global cake on the account of horticulture exports; despite the fact that the global trade in horticulture had increase four times over two decades and stood at more than USD 200 billion in 2019. “Pakistan stands among the top ten citrus producing countries having a lower export than the production quantity”. Kinnow being the largest produced fruit in Pakistan in horticulture sector possesses all the potential of becoming the major exportable fruit commodity of the country, but the government yet to resolve the issues related to the Kinnow export to Iran and Afghanistan by removing obstacles and increasing fruit quality enhancement.

PBF official further informed that only 2.6 percent of Kinnow exports target was the developed countries’ markets, whose demand was emerging for seedless variety too, The major target export markets of Pakistani ‘Kinnow’ including Middle East, Afghanistan, Russia and ASEAN Countries; Similarly Indonesia, has offered market access to Kinnow, from Pakistan at zero per cent tariff, but they issued a quota at a time when season is about to end, despite we have suggested the government for barter trade with Indonesia, selling kinnow against palm oil, but not to avail.

Regardless Pakistan has hit record increase in export of fruits and vegetables of 12.5 percent amounting to $730 million during fiscal year 2019-20, despite the novel coronavirus supply and transport obstacles. It may be mentioned here that due to the effective measures taken by the government, the fruits’ export was enhanced by 3.8 percent during the last year, while the vegetables reflected an increase in export by 28 percent. However in the preview of horticulture 2030 vision proposed to government, Pakistan could easily enhance fruits and vegetables exports to US$2 billion within a period of two years, while $6 billion over a period of nine years subject to serious intervention of the economic managers” Jawad added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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