SIALKOT (January 28 2008): Local business community has decided to establish `Food and Vegetable Processing /Packing` Centre close to Sialkot International Airport. The setting up of common facility centre for fruit and vegetable processing close to airport would open new avenues for exporters and could be the source of quantum leap in exports from Sialkot.
According to Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) sources the objectives of the proposed fruit and vegetable processing facilities are to preserve packing and store fruit and vegetables surpluses for export during seasonal gluts in the region, to increase fruits and vegetable export opportunities that will boost growers profitability and foreign exchange earning for the country, the introduction of agro-food based common facility centre enable to minimise the post harvest losses that are estimated 35 percent in fresh fruits and vegetables, to develop national manufacturing capacity, to support the fruit and vegetables growers in processing and value-addition of the produce, provision of consultancy services regarding value-addition and processing of fruits and vegetables to the local growers and ensure employment opportunities for local skilled and unskilled work force including women folk of the area.
The proposed centre will extend facilities like fruits and vegetables grading and packing facilities of turnip, cauliflower, tomato, potato, peas, okra, bitter gourd, Kino and guava. These facilities would ensure access to the international markets while the centre will also cater the needs of domestic for hygienic food. The farmer community would be able to earn satisfactory return. The growers, exporters and fruits and vegetables traders of Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat and Gujranwala would be the main beneficiaries of this proposed centre.