Thursday, December 9, 2021
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PFVA tasked to identify issues, solutions to uplift agri sector’s export

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Zubair Yaqoob
The author has diversified experience in investigative journalism. He is Chief content editor at wnobserver.com

The Federal Government has assured PFVA to get issues resolved on a priority basis related to the export of fruits & vegetables and the task of identifying issues on a short term basis along with recommendations was assigned to the All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers, and Merchants Association (PFVA) during a meeting of the special committee of the National Assembly on Agriculture products held on 9th Sept. 2021. The PFVA has been given a month to compile and submit recommendations to the committee. These recommendations would then be reviewed by the committee during its next session and the concerned Ministries would be issued necessary directives to ensure resolution of the issues from that day onwards.

According to Waheed Ahmed, the Patron-in-Chief PFVA, the meeting of the special committee of the National Assembly on Agriculture products was chaired by Malik Muhammad Ahsan Tiwana and besides representatives of various Ministries & departments, Dr. Fahmeeda Mirza, the Minister for Interprovincial co-ordination also participated in this important meeting.

The committee was briefed by Waheed Ahmed about the issues highlighted in the Horticulture Vision – 2030 a roadmap, developed by the PFVA through extensive consultation with all the stakeholders. Waheed Ahmed apprised the committee that the Agriculture sector was confronted with numerous serious challenges including – climate change, lack of Research & Development (R&D), low production due to the use of primitive harvesting methods, pre & post-harvest losses, low Quality, non-availability of new varieties, inefficient supply chain and high freight cost.

The Association in collaboration with the FPCCI took the initiative to address issues of the Horticulture sector and developed a realistic road map – “Horticulture Vision -2030 “ (HV-2030) through extensive consultation with all concerned stakeholders, in-depth analysis & research work – Waheed further elaborated. The objective of this vision is to enhance yield per acre & improve the quality of the agri-products by adopting modern methods of harvesting so that besides enhancing the export of fruits and vegetables, it can further strengthen the agriculture economy and ensure the food security of Pakistan.

Waheed Ahmed assured the committee that if the recommendations to resolve issues of the sector highlighted in the HV-2030 are implemented in letter & spirit, the export of Fruits & Vegetables can be enhanced to US$2 billion in three years and US$ 6 billion in 10 years.

Due to the deadly global pandemic Coronavirus, the cost of sea freight has multiplied many folds imposing a serious barrier in the enhancement of exports, however the chances to avail the opportunity of TIR (International Transit Trade by road) by Pakistan are bright and by using this facility our country can export agri-products with minimum cost & time to important International markets but to achieve that, the sector needs trailers and reefer containers – Waheed Ahmed explained. It is need of the hour that the latest techniques of harvesting fruits & vegetables and export business be included in our current curriculum of Agriculture for development of the Horticulture sector – Waheed Ahmed proposed.

The members of the committee unanimously agreed that to enhance Agri-exports, it was imperative to expeditiously resolve Structural, operational & policy-related issues on a priority basis. The committee urged that for streamlining the Agriculture sector on modern lines, well-co-ordinated efforts among the research-based institutions, concerned ministries of GoP, and private sector can produce wonderful results in the uplift of this promising sector. The PFVA has been assigned a task by the committee to submit a short-term plan of issues along with recommendations at the earliest so that by convening a meeting of the concerned ministries, the issues can be resolved expeditiously.

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