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Fruits and vegetables: PFVA wants government to increase export fund

KARACHI:  Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) Co-Chairman Waheed Ahmed has urged the gov...

Fruits and vegetables: PFVA wants government to increase export fund

KARACHI: Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) Co-Chairman Waheed Ahmed has urged the government to increase the Export Development Fund (EDF) to Rs20 million in order to promote exports of fruits and vegetables.

During a meeting with officials of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) on Monday, he said that the current EDF fund size is Rs10 million, which was proving to be insufficient.

Fruits and vegetables: PFVA wants government to increase export fund

He informed the meeting that in the last fiscal year, total fruits exports clocked in at $435 million while vegetable exports touched $209 million.
He emphasised the example of Japan where Pakistani mangoes were sold at a premium price of ¥450 per unit. However, he lamented that due to the failure of installing a Vapour Heat Treatment (VHT) plant, Pakistan has lost about $10 million during the year.
Ahmed stressed on the need for research and development and informed TDAP that the PFVA is interested in establishing a laboratory for which Rs300 million are required. The establishment of that laboratory will help increase Pakistan’s total fruit and vegetable exports to $7 billion in the near future, he added.
While appreciating the efforts taken to increase fruit and vegetable exports, the TDAP chief executive assured the delegation of PFVA for full support and facilitation and asked PFVA to submit their suggestions for the promotion of the export of fruits and vegetables as well as for the betterment in the field of cultivation and related areas.
Speaking on the installation of the VHT plant, TDAP Director Atif Aziz informed that the authority has received six proposals from various firms. However, in the EDF meeting – which was held on October 3, 2014 – it was decided that VHT will be installed on public-private partnership bases and quotations will be called through open competitive biddings, he added.
“VHT can play an important role in increasing the country’s fruits and vegetables exports,” said Aziz, adding that TDAP has received only two complaints in the current year about the presence of fruit flies in mango and vegetables consignments that is encouraging for government inspectors.

The Russian market
PFVA officials believe that after the Russian ban on European and North American food items, the chances to secure big import orders for Pakistani exporters are extremely high.
Last month, a delegation of 20 Pakistani companies went to Russia to participate in a three-day World Food Moscow exhibition – Russia’s premier international exhibition for the food and drink industry – which concluded on September 18. Six of the companies that left for Russia also set up their stalls in the exhibition where they displayed fruits, vegetables and value-added products.
The delegation had conducted meetings with Russian fruit importers as well as their officials during the exhibition to create business opportunities. Exporters say that the absence of direct banking channels between Russia and Pakistan are creating problems for Pakistani businesses, which is a big problem that needs to be resolved immediately.

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