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ISLAMABAD: President Dr Arif Alvi today (Sunday) has asserted that food security was important for economic stability, while water conservation and bio-diversity were need of the hour.
The President expressed his views while addressing a seminar on ‘Trade Potential of Pakistani Citrus, which was organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Sargodha Chamber of Commerce and Industry here at Aiwan-e-Sadr.
Dr Arif Alvi said the value-addition of horticulture produce was crucial for Pakistan to boost its exports. “It is important for us to improve standards of local fresh fruit with improved packaging and preservation to attract high-end markets,” he added.
“Pakistan is rich in production of citrus and the world’s sixth-largest producer of superior quality Kinnow,” he said, stressing an effective policy to broaden the scope of exports.
The President pointed out that ‘phytosanitation’ – a systematic approach of pest prevention in food crops, and organic farming – could enhance yields besides reducing the chances of rejection by the importing countries citing ‘unsafe’ produce.
“China, Japan, Korea and several other developed countries could prove attractive markets for Pakistan’s fresh fruits,” President Alvi said, emphasizing the need for adopting their stringent food standard policies.
He also expressed concern that improper treatment and preservation of crops mainly wheat and rice resulted in infestation and led to the loss of quality stuff for export purposes.
He urged exporters to be mindful of the presentation of packaged fruits by sorting out blemish-free produce and ensuring preservation timeline from production till delivery to the consumer.
The President also urged Pakistani Ambassadors to play their role in promoting the country’s production around the world. He also visited the stalls of citrus with a variety of Kinnows, Musambi, Eureka Lemon and Grapefruit put on display and lauded the efforts of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) and Sargodha Chamber of Commerce & Industry.