LAHORE (July 20 2007): The Punjab government has planned to set up a `Hot Water Treatment Plant` in Multan at a cost of Rs 84 million to develop disinfestations technology of fresh horticulture crops.
`Land has been acquired in Multan Industrial Estate and Communication and Works Department has been approached for designing and other necessary work,` Secretary Commerce and Investment Department Punjab, Saeed Ahmad Alvi told Business Recorder, here on Thursday.
Saeed maintained that the project would be completed in two years and hopefully the plant would be functional by the end of year 2009. Three acres of land has been acquired for this plant while a steering committee comprising representatives from Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board, Punjab Agriculture Department, Commerce and Investment Department Punjab, and Planning and Development would be looking after this whole project, Alvi added.
Talking about the necessity of this project, he averred that this project would help develop the interaction among cool chain, cold store and disinfestations technology. There were certain criteria set by the mango importing countries regarding disinfestations of the crop and this technology will help achieve the standards of the importing countries including China and Russia.
This plant would also be dealing with the packaging issues to help the farmers and exporters making their produce more presentable and fetching more prices. The government is setting up this plant to work on non-profit basis and would work as a model so that the private sector could replicate and help enhance the export of this produce, he added.
Other projects on which the department would be working include establishment of horticulture produce processing units, fruits, and vegetable dehydration facility, which aimed at increasing the shelf life of horticulture products, and enhance the marketability of the horticulture products. He said establishment of flora model farm near Lahore would help enhance the export of flowers, he concluded.