Pakistan backyard farm of Central Asia: FPCCI

Pakistan backyard farm of Central Asia: FPCCI

PESHAWAR (APP): Chairman Standing Committee on Horticulture of FPCCI Ahmad Jawad has said Pakistan had certain geographical advantages and it was considered a backyard farm of the Central Asian States (CAS) and the Middle East with remarkable potential for export of agriculture products.

Talking to newsmen on Sunday, Jawad said horticulture sector had a significant export potential, particularly off-season fruits and vegetables that have a high demand in certain regional markets. There is a need to adopt latest technology for enhancing export of these high-value products.

Due to rich potential of horticulture and agriculture resources in KP, provincial government should provide infrastructure, including processing units, modern cold storages under public private partnership.

However, he showed disappointment towards the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government, in the budget for 2016-17, allocated Rs 8.63 billion for the development of agriculture sector. If we compare the potential and the budget allocation that showed no match.

FPCCI Standing Committee Chairman Ahmad Jawad further said we have to understand that small landholdings have adversely impacted crop yields and productivity in KP.

"Small-scale farmers do not have access to sufficient resources to participate in high value-added markets," he said.

There is a large market for traditional crops. However, fluctuating prices don't always work to the benefit of small-scale farmers, he added.

According to Jawad, the production process in KP is "supply-driven instead of demand-oriented. Farmers with small holdings are unable to gain direct access to markets.

The chairman said small-scale farmers have to travel at least 10 miles to reach the nearest market. This makes it difficult for growers to obtain accurate information about consumer prices," Jawad added.