PHDEC hosts webinar on apple

LAHORE  -  Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC) host­ed a webinar focused on “Optimizing Apple Fruit Quality through Recom­mended Harvesting and Post-Harvest Management Techniques” the other day. The aim of the webinar was to bring the maximum of the stake­holders on board to discuss harvest­ing, postharvest handling, sorting, packaging, transportation, load­ing, unloading, storages of apple to minimize the postharvest losses and availability of premium quality apple in domestic and high-end-markets.

Area of apple in Pakistan is ap­proximately 2 lakh acres and its an­nual production is approximately 7 lakh tonnes. Apple cultivation in Pakistan is limited to the hilly areas of Baluchistan (more than 90%), while rest is in Azad Kashmir, and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The harvest­ing of apple fruit shall be started by early June until the end of November. The apple fruit is highly delicate and responsive toward the mishandling and malpractices of harvest and bad packaging. So, keeping in view the delicacy of the product and the im­portance of harvesting and handling for good quality and yield, PHDEC planned to organize this webinar to educate the apple farmers/growers, key farm workers on the subject. The experts from the local agriculture de­partment, Balochistan enlightened the small holders of apple on recom­mended harvesting, postharvest han­dling, and packing techniques.

Athar Hussain Khokhar, CEO of PHDEC, extended a warm welcome to the participants. He provided an overview of PHDEC’s operations, emphasizing the organization’s com­mitment to supporting horticulture growers across Pakistan. Khokhar encouraged growers from Balo­chistan to submit proposals or proj­ects to PHDEC, welcomed collabora­tion and partnership opportunities to further enhance the horticulture sector in the region.

A large number of participants from growers, processors, exporters, R&D and academia participated in the we­binar and appreciated the PHDEC’s initiative of conducting the webinar on an important topic of Optimizing Apple Fruit Quality through Recom­mended Harvesting and Post-Harvest Management Techniques. Participants suggested that organizing physical activities would be more fruitful for stakeholders. Dr Muhammad Javed Tareen (Technical Member Chief Min­ister’s Inspection Team, Govt of Balo­chistan) shared the current area and production of apple in Baluchistan and last 10 year’s growth trend. He told to the participants that currently we are getting 9.5MT/acre production while New Zealand is getting about 68MT/acre. He explained the reasons of low production in Pakistan and impact of malpractices and lack of knowledge of recommended production technol­ogy of apple on quality, yield and post-harvest losses.

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