Sindh Minister for Agriculture, Ismail Rahu:

‘Date exports down to alarming level’

According to a provincial minister, Pakistan’s date exports have declined to an alarming level in the last two years; lower prices are discouraging growers

Sindh Minister for Agriculture Ismail Rahu said the country earned $103 million 2016, $108 million in 2017 and $113 million in 2018 from date exports. However, the exports declined to the alarming level to $71 million in 2019 and they dropped far below than that last year.

Khairpur district produces top quality ‘aseel’ dates, which were exported to the UAE, Nepal, Oman, India and other countries (after fulfilling local demand). He blamed the PTI government for deliberately damaging Sindh’s agriculture.

Nisar Khaskheli, president of Data Palm Growers Association Khairpur, told The News there was need to take practical measures to increase export of dry dates of Sindh. Besides, there is need to grow export-oriented dates. Khaskheli said Pakistan should discourage imports and promote the local varieties. Imported dates are available at price of up to Rs2,200 per kg while local substitute is available at Rs200 per kg.

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