partnerships may boost apple exports
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Sep 27 - Oct 03, 1999
Top officials of Ministry of Food and Agriculture, responsible for
growth and development of small and large crops, have been advised by the government to
prepare a comprehensive report about their respective areas suggesting steps for rapid
improvement in the farm produce in Pakistan.
The directive, issued by Prime Minister's Secretariat to the Ministry
of Agriculture, is aimed at identifying the factors restraining growth and to suggest
immediate steps for consolidating agricultural resources in the country. The matter is
being treated as urgent with a view to optimize benefits of the farm sector.
Working in line with this policy, the Pakistan Industrial Development
Corporation (PIDC), in collaboration with the private sector, has planned to increase the
export of apples from Balochistan and to introduce modern technology and know-how in the
region for post harvest treatment of fruits. At present no modern facilities for
processing apples exist and thus exports of apples are limited to 2000-3000 tonnes against
the production of over 400,000 tonnes from this province. The PIDC has short-listed four
parties as potential joint venture partners. The final touches to the joint venture
agreement have already been given and a formal announcement is due sometime next month.
The project would be financed at 60-40 debtequity ratio. PIDC and
Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) together would contribute a total of 50 per cent equity
while the balance would be contributed by the private partner. The Balochistan government
is also required to share 10-15 per cent equity. The overall management of the project
would, however, be looked after by the private partner. The debut would be arranged
through investment banks and other financial institutions. Initial discussion for raising
funds has been made with Pak-Libya Holding Company, other investment banks. The machinery
would be imported from a European country preferably against buyers credit. Tentatively
the project would go into production in August next year.
Apple production in Pakistan
Balochistan 466,000 tonnes 84.19 per cent of the total
NWFP 85,000 tonnes 15.36 per cent
Punjab 2,3000 tonnes 0.41 per cent
Sindh 2000 tonnes 0.04 per cent
Apple producing areas in Balochistan
The climate and hilly environment of Balochistan have placed the
province as the major producer of apples in Pakistan. Following areas of Balochistan are
known for producing quality apples:
Pishin 98,397 tonnes
Zhob 81,474 tonnes
Loaralai 51,679 tonnes
Quetta 43,917 tonnes
Kalat 42,193 tonnes
Ziarat 41,46 tonnes
Killa Saifullah 31,292tonnes
Mastung 21,595 tonnes
Khuzdar 16,481 tonnes
Other areas 37,474 tonnes
Production of apples in the world
The global production of apples is estimated over 41 million tonnes
mainly by China, US, Russia and Central Asian States. The leading apple producing
countries in Europe are France, Germany and Italy. Most of the crop is processed as either
cider or brandy. Apple production in the US in the mid 1980s was about 9 per cent of the
total world production. Washington is the most important apple producing state of the US.
Next ranking in descending order are New York, Michigan, California, Pennsylvania and
Market for Pakistani apples
Pakistani apples have a considerable demand in the Middle East as well
in the Far Eastern countries. However, this cash crop has yet to achieve the height it
The export volume of apples is comparatively too low mainly due to lack
of modern facilities processing, grading, waxing and polishing of the fruit. Pakistan
exported 5,084 tonnes during July-March 1998-99.
After meeting the domestic demand an exportable surplus of 100,000
tonnes of apples is available in Pakistan.
Pakistan earned $ 372,700 by exporting 127 tonnes of apples during
1995-96. Export earnings were estimated at $157,000 by exporting 536 tonnes in 1996-97,
and $ 429,000 by exporting 2,120 tonnes in 1997-98.
Despite lack of processing facilities, the gradual increase in apple
exports are encouraging signs for the private sector investment in this sector.
The project to be set up in Balochistan has an export plan to
progressively enter into export market. During the first year of its operations, the
export target is 10,000 tonnes, which is to be increased to the level of 15,000 tonnes
during next five years.
Estimated on the basis of increasing trend in apple production and high
post harvest losses that 50,000 tonnes of apple can be taken out for export without
disturbing prices in the domestic market.
Currently the major players in the export market are Iran, Chile, USA,
Lebanon, Turkey, Australia, France and India.