KARACHI - Pakistan Fruits and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) and USAID have joined hands to improve the standards and quality of country’s fruit and vegetables while introducing new verities of agricultural products. This was informed by Waheed Ahmed Co Chairman PFVA after meeting with USAID’s Agribusiness Project’s regional team from Karachi under the supervision of Nazeer Ahmed Essani, Regional Programme Manager USAID.

He said with closed coordination of PFVA, the USAID will provide technical support and training to the growers in the country to produce qualitative fruits and vegetable besides maximising benefits from the item and cultivated land. In order to materialise the objectives a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is going be singed between the two organizations shortly.

Waheed said that USAID team has agreed to provide technical support and training to the growers aiming that the qualified and healthy products would not only enhance the country’s exports but also help the growers to get maximum benefits. Besides, the foreign agency would also provide its assistance to develop horticulture industry and research development project. As country’s fruits are mainly facing quality and standard issues in international markets due to lack of required facilities as per demands of various markets/countries, the fresh development and move would minimise the issues and problems faced by the exporters and traders of fruits and vegetables, he added.

While briefing about the exports business of mangoes and Kinnows in Pakistan, Waheed Ahmed said that Kinnow has become one of the major export items within the fruit group.

The export volume of the citrus fruit is 300,000 tons whereas the total exports of mangoes is 130,000 tons. Russia and Ukraine have emerged as the biggest markets of Pakistan’s Kinnows in recent years.

This fact stresses on the need to educate producers and exporters about new varieties of citrus fruits, cold storage, improved packaging and market outreach. Waheed also suggested that by cultivating seedless varieties, local sellers can tap those markets in Europe that have so far eluded Pakistani exporters.