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HYDERABAD: Dr Fateh Marri, Vice Chancellor Sindh Agriculture University (SAU) Tandojam proposed to establish ‘farmers’ markets’ in major cities of Sindh province, engaging producers to sell their own products there.

They should be facilitated to provide seed money as a grant because they do not have finance for promoting business, he said this in his concluding remarks during a seminar on ‘Mango Quality production, opportunities and challenges’, organized by Sindh Agriculture University Tandojam in collaboration with Sindh Abadgar Board, Sindh Agriculture Research Institute Tandojam and Sindh Enterprise Development Fund (SEDF) on Wednesday.

The event attracted mango producers, traders, exporters, agriculture department officials and entrepreneurs.

The Vice Chancellor said mango products start from its nursery, which must have healthy plants. There is need of introducing technology for processing and marketing to capture market. He said university is going to establish clean mango nursery. We are encouraging graduates to bring business plans and engage them for mango processing, packing and grading and adapt online marketing mechanism.

He suggested displaying mango varieties in Karachi and other cities’ larger shopping malls and major markets. He said it may take more time, as we claim more but in real sense we are not competitor with other countries in terms of export quality because of lacking management, packing and grading skills.

Abdul Rahim Soomor, Secretary Sindh Agriculture said there is need of action over the recommendations produced by this seminar. He said there is a gap in research, which shows poor results in yield compared to other nations of the world in terms of quality products.

Responding to queries, he said agro processing zones were established in 2000 in nine cities of Sindh. Now we are struggling to revive these processing zones through public private partnership. We will involve Sindh investment board in the agribusiness.

He also discussed seed issue in the province and said government’s research institutes and Sindh Agriculture University graduates may be engaged to meet the need of providing certified seeds.

Mahboobul Haq CEO Sindh Enterprise Development Fund (SEDF) said there are agribusiness opportunities for farmers. They are planning to strengthen supply chain with setting up cold storage, transportation and distribution mechanism. He said they have ten years background and now seeing how public private partnership may play effective role. He said due to Covid-19 restrictions we could not continue the plan of investment.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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