ISLAMABAD, (Pakistan Point News - APP - 26th Jan, 2017 ) : Minister for National food Security and Research, Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan Thursday said steps were being taken to surpass last year's kinnow exports of around 330,000 tons. Addressing the 'Kinnow-Expo 2017', organized by USAID Agriculture Market Development (AMD) programme, the minister said that Indonesian Government has enhanced the period for importing the kinnow by four months, which would further augment the exports of the commodity.
The minister said that citrus was contributing about 30 percent in local fruit production, adding that government was taking appropriate measures to enhance exports of fruits from the country and earn precious foreign exchange. Sikandar Bosan appreciated the role of USAID for the development of local agriculture and livestock sectors of the country. He said that different projects initiated in collaboration with the USAID was helping in enhancing the crop output and alleviating the poverty.
The minister said that government was well aware of the issues and challenges being faced by the local agriculture sector and initiated numbers of developmental projects to address these problems. Steps were being taken for uplift of agriculture, livestock and horticulture sectors of the country by introducing the innovative and modern farming technologies. He said that agriculture was the back bone of national economy contributing significantly in national GDP, besides absorbing the 40 percent of local labour force.
He said that conventional agriculture sector has been shifted to high value crop production and horticulture in order to enhance the farm income. Speaking on the occasion, US Ambassador David Hale said that US was assisting and providing technical and financial assistance for the development of the agriculture sector of Pakistan. He said that AMD programme would help to enhance citrus exports and compete in the international markets as the exporters were provided training to compete with the international markets.
He reiterated for working together for strengthening the agriculture sector of Paksitan, besides collaborating in other sector of economic development. Addressing the ceremony, Head of AMD programme informed that the main objective of the programme was to enable the local agriculture, livestock, citrus and off-season vegetables to compete in international markets. The other objective of the programme was to encourage investment through technical assistance, matching grants and supplement the world best technical supports for the industry for enhancing the exports, he added.
President Sargodha Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Qasir Iqbal said that 190 processing units were established in the area in order to enhance the citrus exports. He said that country was earning an average US$ 250 million by exporting the citrus including kinnow as the it was the 6th largest kinnow producing of the world.