KARACHI : KCCI President Muhammad Haroon Agar has called for immediate attention by the government and international agencies to agriculture as Pakistan’s economy is heavily dependent on it. Besides being the main source of food for the people, it provides raw material for industry and is the base of foreign trade. The govt should bring reforms, establish seed banks and research centres, form cool chains and purpose-built warehouses to get maximum benefits from agriculture.

President KCCI was exchanging views with a two-member team of Centre for Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) Netherlands that included Ms Lisanne Heemskerk and Marlon Rossblad

President KCCI Muhammad Haroon Agar was of the view that the country’s agriculture sector faces manifold challenges and problems like irrigation and water issues, de-forestation, absence of land reforms, lack of research and development and training to farmers, absence of modern harvesting technologies and techniques, infrastructural problems etc.

About the value chain study for cumin seeds by CBI and GIZ, he informed Pakistan produces traditional cumin seeds of three qualities viz white, black and green. Pakistani cumin seeds are famous for its aroma and taste. For catering to the national consumption needs, Pakistan also imports cumin seeds from India and Afghanistan besides producing it locally. It is also exported to various countries abroad. Among minor crops Cumin seed gets high prices.

The local produce can be enhanced by training the farmers and bringing reforms because the crops mostly produced in Pakistan are at the mercy of the weather conditions and climate.

Presently Pakistan is producing 5000 tons while 15000 tons is imported from Afghanistan and around 1000 tons from India.

He welcomed the initiative of CBI Netherlands for executing value chain study of cumin seeds followed by training programme of Pakistani farmers. He also assured of Karachi chamber’s support in this regard.

Ms Lisanne Heemskerk, Team Leader of Study Mission of the Centre for Promotion of Imports from Developing Countries (CBI) Netherlands, deliberated upon CBI’s study on value chain for cumin seeds in Pakistan. She informed that the CBI as an agency functions under the ambit of Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Netherlands and supports export from 48 developing countries in 27 sectors. The CBI approaches the value chain system in which all stakeholder are inter-connected.

She informed that the study focuses to enhance Pakistan’s exports of cumin seeds to regional countries. Sufficient funds are available with CBI which will be used for coaching, promotion and facilitation to the Pakistan local farmers on completion of the study.