ISLAMABAD – The country is being exporting only 4 per cent fruits and vegetables at far lower price 41 per cent compared to world average price due to lack of transport infrastructure, say sources.

According to sources out of 13.67 million tones of fruits and vegetables produced annually by Pakistan, about 25 per cent goes waste, between farms to consumers, while only 4 per cent is exported at far lower price 41 per cent compared to world average price as its growth and profitability is restrained mainly by lack of proper post harvest management and transport infrastructure. “The improvement of post harvest management infrastructure will help to stabilize prices in domestic markets as well as to substantially boost export to highly lucrative and competitive international markets,” sources said, adding the improving post harvest management infrastructure i-e is grading, packing, storage and transport/cold-chain will help to reduce high post harvest losses, increase production surplus along with improving shelf life.

Horticulture sector contributes about 12 per cent to the national agricultural GDP of Pakistan, and holds great potential for increasing export of quality horticultural produce, and offering multiple employment opportunities throughout the supply chain.

Keeping in view the importance of the cold chain, Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board (PHDEB) - Ministry of Commerce, had already decided to “Establish a Cool Chain System” under “National Trade Corridor Improvement Project”. The Cool Chain project is bound act as a back bone for the development of supply chain infrastructure for horticulture produce.