ASF promises to help Pak fruit growers boost exports
April 9th, 2012 | Technology Times | No Comments
STAFF REPORT IBD: Agribusiness support initiative has enabled fruit growers to get international quality certification, providing access to lucrative new markets and boosting incomes for farmers.
Agribusiness Support Fund, a not-for-profit company established by the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in 2006, under the $18 million, ADB supported Agribusiness Development and Diversification Project.
“ADBs assistance to the Agribusiness Support Fund was part of a broader project to diversify and develop the agribusiness sector in Pakistan and to improve the lives of small-scale farmers, among others,” says Donneth A. Walton, principal natural resources management specialist at ADBs Pakistan Resident Mission.
According to Chaudhry Amjad Nisar, Senior Vice President of the All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association, the accreditation process also impacts how fruits are handled after they are picked.
“Thanks to the fund,” says Nisar, “our capacity in collection, grading, packing, storage, and transportation has improved to international standards.”
He said that without the certification exports of kinnow are restricted to Asian and Middle Eastern markets, where the fruit commanded lower prices. “Lack of certification of fruit orchards was a major obstacle in accessing potential markets, especially in Europe and America,” Ahmed said.
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