LAHORE - Minister for Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javed has said that potato export to Russia has helped in stabilising prices in local market.

He said that government is in contact with Afghanistan authorities to remove the import duty on potato. He said Pakistani potato will be seen in Afghanistan’s markets after this intervention. Provincial minister stated this while presiding over a meeting to review the production and export of potato. He said that more than 70 percent of potato is still in farmers’ custody so farmer is getting direct benefit from potato export. He said that a total of 96,585 metric tons of potatoes have been exported to Russia, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates.

The minister said that the government is providing all possible facilities to exporters and export of potatoes will continue without any additional duty or tax. The meeting was told that Punjab has a capacity of exporting 3 lakh metric tons of potatoes this year. Dr Farrukh Javed said that farmer's interest is our top priority and farmers are getting the direct benefit of potato export. He said that potato has been cultivated over four lakh acres this year which is 3.5 per cent higher than the last year. Our prime objective is that the growers get maximum benefit of their hard work and a better price can be offered to them, he added. He said that the government will export surplus potatoes so that farmers could be saved from economic crisis. He said that government is spending millions of rupees for providing the farmers with modern tools and equipment. He said that we are introducing local products in international markets and potatoes export is part of this mission.