Yesterday, Ahmad Jawwad, an expert on horticulture exports, urged Pakistan’s government to take notice of the Pakistan Horticulture Development Export Company’s (PHDEC) failure to play its due role in enhancing this sector’s exports.
“To date, the country has had no export strategy for this emerging industry and Pakistan’s share in international market is meager,” said Jawad, Vice President of Pakistan Businesses Forum and former chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Agriculture. Jawad added that, according to 2015 IFPRI IMPACT projections, Russia’s demand for fruit would the fastest growing category in food demand, reaching $11.4 billion and same was true for China, which could be a tremendous opportunities for Pakistani fruits.
He claims that, although the PHDEC initially worked quite well, it has become virtually dormant. “PHDEC failed to introduce concrete measures for the promotion of horticulture exports. Even in the last five years the company has been run through acting chiefs,” he told thenews.com.pk.
He also said that the demand for horticulture commodities had increased over time. “It has quadrupled, from $51 billion in 2001 to $200 billion in 2018 and in contrast Pakistan has been unable to capitalize on the growth in global demand.”
It was due to a lack of focus and inadequate investment in the requisite infrastructure, such as cold chain, packing houses, proper logistics, and processing units. To date Pakistani horticulture exports only around $700 million, which is unfortunate.