Pakistan can enhance its exports of fruits up to
$400 million a year in next four to five years in case the capacity of
cold storages and reefer containers is increased and the required
infrastructure is put in place. Chief Executive Pakistan Horticulture
Development and Export Board Shamoon Sadiq disclosed this in an
"The demand of Pakistani mangoes, kinnos and
other fruits is rapidly increasing and the private sector would have
to expand its capacity to meet the fast-growing demand," he said
Sadiq pointed out that Iran and China have opened
their markets for Pakistani mangoes and kinnos and they have signed
MOUs with Pakistan regarding the quarantine requirements and storage
The PHDEB CEO said that the board is further
exploring markets in East Europe, East Russia and Vietnam to capture
maximum share of fruit exports from Pakistan.
Pakistani exporters can easily capture some share
in these markets where the quarantine and storage standards are not as
tough as in other countries.
He further disclosed that the board was ready to
provide pre-shipment inspection facility on voluntarily basis to the
fruit exporters by engaging the well-reputed multinational companies.
If the Ministry of Commerce and exporters agreed to
this proposal, the board would engage the world's famous companies SGS
and BBQI to ensure quality in the export of fruits from Pakistan.
The PHDEB would take up the issues of pre-shipment
inspection and expansion in cold storages as well as other important
infrastructure matters with the Ministry of Commerce next week.
The Ministry of Commerce has summoned a review
meeting of the PHDEB, to be chaired by Federal Minister for Commerce
Humayun Akhtar Khan.
Mr Shamoon said that the Commerce Minister was very
keen to promote the horticulture sector and its exports and in the
upcoming meet the PHDEB would apprise the minister about the
constraints being faced by the board and the exporters.
He also disclosed that Pakistani exporters have
started sending trial containers of mangoes to Iran.
During recent visit of Pakistani delegation of
mango exporters, arranged by the PHDEB, Iran opened its markets for
the import of Pakistani mangoes and kinnos.
He said that the Iranian importers also want to
place bulk orders for kinnos from coming season, starting from
mid-December and they have urged the Pakistani exporters to increase
storage capacity and also make arrangements to fulfill the quarantine
and storage standards.
Shamoon said that the board facilitated meetings
between the Pakistani exporters, Iranian importers, transporters and
government officials in Mashhad, Tehran and Zahidan with the objective
to encourage export of these two most favourite fruit items from
He further said that the Iranian officials and
private sector people have promised to provide transit facility for
the export of mangoes and kinno from Pakistan to Central Asian
Republics (CARs), Russia and East Europe. He said that the transit
facility would help Pakistani exporters to send fruits to the said
destinations in a short period.
He dispelled the impression that the PHDEB was not
taking appropriate measures to promote horticulture exports and said
that some elements, having vested interests, were active to tarnish
the image of the board.
Recently, Habib Bank organized a seminar on the
scope of establishing fruit processing units in Pakistan, especially
citrus and mango. Speaking on the occasion, Qasim Noon, Minister of
Agricultural Marketing, Punjab, appreciated the efforts of Habib Bank
in the promotion of agricultural credit and horticulture sector.
Jamil A. Khan, Senior Executive Vice President and
Group Executive, Retail Banking, said that Pakistan was facing poor
post-harvest fruit management problem. Approximately 35-40 percent of
the fruits was being lost because of weak post-harvest management, he
The agriculture sector has annual credit
requirement of more than Rs292 billion. It provides tremendous scope
for banks and financial institutions not only to make it a commercial
proposition but to serve as a national cause with its multidimensional
effects on poverty alleviation, reduction in import bill, earning of
precious foreign exchange through exports and deposit generation for
further investment. He invited the interested growers and investors to
come forward and make investment in this sector for which the bank
will provide necessary support.
During 2005-06 Habib Bank plans to achieve a
disbursement target of Rs20 billion, which is 100 percent more than
the previous year's target.
Muhammad Yousuf, Secretary Agricultural Marketing,
Punjab, also made deliberations on the marketing aspects of fruits
that were highly appreciated by the audience.
Zaheer Masood of HBL said that during last few
years HBL has introduced a number of farmer friendly products that
have gained a lot of popularity among the farming community. HBL
products have boosted tractor sales, promoted dairy and poultry
farming in addition to helping crop growers, he added.