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Government to form aggressive policy for horticulture products export

Islamabad   (January 31, 2011) : the government has decided to formulate an aggressive policy for export of horticulture products during 2011 for which all possible support will be extended to pakistan horticulture development and export company (phdec). This decision was taken at a meeting on saturday, presided over by commerce secretary zafar mahmood who was jubilant over substantial increase in exports despite infrastructure issues.

Bashir Hussain, chief executive officer (CEO) of PHDEC, gave a detailed presentation on the activities of the company, the bottlenecks and the future horticulture plan.

PHDEC suggested that commerce ministry should issue notification to all commercial sections to assist/support export development of the horticulture sector.

`Commerce ministry will notify commercial sections of pakistan`s embassies to extend all possible assistance in promoting pakistani horticulture products,` said an official of the ministry who was present in the meeting.

Resolution of issues like inadequate air cargo space, shortage of controlled atmosphere (ca) and reefer container (for sea shipment), provision of special air freight rates for export of mangoes, financial support to farmers and exporters in the shape of loans, guarantees and revolving funds besides support to common facility centres for processing of fresh fruits and vegetables were the centre of discussion. The meeting appreciated the ceo for his personal efforts to promote pakistani horticulture products in europe and other countries including iran and middle east.

Following activities have been assigned to phdec to perform its mandate: (i) to formulate and implement the national horticulture strategy; (ii) to promote export of horticulture products by developing horticultural export strategy, establishing linkages with international marketing companies and setting up market intelligence services in collaboration with relevant organizations in the public and private sectors and provide commercial intelligence to horticulture producers and exporters.

the meeting was also apprised of weaknesses like lack of appropriate trained/skilled human resource, institutional credit availability, lack of market-oriented production and post-harvest practices and quality certifications.

Sources said that the government is also implementing a joint project of asian development bank (ADB) and ministry of food and agriculture (MINFA) to formulate 3 provincial horticulture policies, and training of 120 master trainers in agribusiness management.

The meeting was apprised that 1886 entrepreneurs were trained in agribusiness management, wto regulations, export procedures and supply chain management, in addition to facilitation of 167 grants through asf in international certifications and export market exposure visits.

With regard to mango exports, the meeting was apprised that all related requirements for mango export to usa have been streamlined in co-ordination with us officials. This year, commercial import of pakistani mangoes will commence. Sea shipment of mangoes to existing markets, potato exports to russian and eu member countries will be priorities of the government this year.

Sources said that linkages have already been developed between two leading exporters and a trading house in germany. Final negotiation to strike a commercial deal will be concluded during berlin fruit logistica in second week of february 2011.

Source: Business Recorder

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