(14 March, 2018)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said Pakistan is the sixth largest producer of citrus fruit. Kinnow is the most exported fruit of Pakistan. 33 percent of total export is to the Middle East alone. It is also exported to Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka. Mango is exported to neighboring and European countries, i.e., Afghanistan, Bahrain, Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, France, Malaysia and Singapore.
The veteran business leader said that the annual production of dates in Pakistan is estimated at around 535 thousand tonnes of which 86 thousand tonnes are exported. Pine nuts are 21.6 % of total fruit exports. Pakistan has been ranked second biggest pine nuts exporter after China. Germany is the main buyer followed by France and Middle East. Pakistani exports can grab their share from the fresh markets including Russia, where US imposed ban on exports to Russia.
The former minister said Demand for Pakistani fruits and vegetables is very high in many countries including Japan, Middle Eastern countries and many others. If the local production is increased then a huge portion of international market can be grabbed. Pakistani fruit and vegetables are being demanded in almost all over the world. Presently Pakistan is exporting fruits and vegetables to the USA, the Europe, Middle East, Far East, India and Sri Lanka. Exports can be exported further if Government take measures to enhance fruits and vegetables production in many ways. The fertile land may be increased and the uncultivable land can be brought under cultivation.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the production of fruit and vegetable in Pakistan comes from approximately 5-8 pc of the country’s cultivated areas, which can be further enhanced, if Government supports. Government should take suggestion of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Association into account and help local traders in accessing fresh international market, new cold storage and packaging facilities and effective branding. The high rise and fall in prices of fruits and vegetables can be avoided if proper cold storage facilities are there, he added.