Horticulture production at 13.7m tons

OUR STAFF REPORTER ISLAMABAD - Horticulture contributes about 12pc to the national agricultural GDP of Pakistan, holding great potential to increase export of premium quality produce. CEO Harvest Tradings Pakistan Ahmad Jawad said that during the last decade, horticulture crop production has increased from 11.3 million tonnes to 13.7 million tonnes, which is expected to reach 19.4 million tonnes soon. The production analysis shows that share of fruits and vegetable is 48.6pc and 51.4pc respectively. Among the major fruit crops, citrus, mango, dates, guava and apple contribute 30, 25, 9, 9, and 5pc, respectively in production. While in vegetable production potato, onion, and tomato share 29, 25 and 6 pc respectively. Out of 14.5 million ton annual production of fruits and vegetables worth around $2 billion, over half a million ton horticulture products costing $230 million are exported as average export price/unit by Pakistan is the lowest in the world due to low quality and low end markers. The country-wide project aims at setting up a chain of modern 39 pack houses (including cold storage facilities) at 31 places, 23 cold storages (13 production areas, seven airports and three seaports) at 23 locations, two reefers/container yards with 200 containers and 50 CA containers each at Lahore and Karachi and six food testing laboratories in six production areas. About 10 per cent reduction in post-harvest losses under the new project would bring savings of Rs 6 billion ($70 million) per annum equivalent to 50 per cent of the project cost.

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