KARACHI: A strong linkage between research institutions and the horticulture sector is vital for enhancing exports of fruits and vegetables, suggested Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters and Importers Association (PFVA) Patron-in-Chief Waheed Ahmed.
Speaking during a visit of PFVA members to the Pakistan Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (PCSIR), Ahmed underscored the need for all stakeholders to prepare early to meet regulatory requirements for upcoming kinnow exports to Indonesia, which were expected to begin from mid-November.
Reviving the export sector
The exporters informed PCSIR Director General Dr Khaula Shirin and scientists about growing research needs of the horticulture sector. Development of disease-free banana varieties by adopting tissue culture technique was among them.
Prospects of establishing a facility for introducing tissue culture were also discussed and it was agreed to prepare a concept paper to meet the goal on a fast track.
The PCSIR DG vowed full support for the upcoming national conference on horticulture being organised by the PFVA. Describing the theme of the conference as very attractive, she voiced hope that it would be a landmark event in the history of horticulture sector.
The delegation discussed the need for research on nematode that infected potatoes which were exported to Russia as well as problems created by thrips for the bitter gourd crop.
PCSIR scientists assured them that they would take up these projects in order to resolve the industry problems.
The PFVA delegation said it would approach authorities for prompt funding of PCSIR projects in a bid to increase fruit and vegetable exports as well as give a boost to the national economy.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 22nd, 2017.
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