The patron-in-chief of Pakistan’s fresh produce import and export association (PFVA), Waheed Ahmed, hopes to convince Pakistan's new Imran Khan administration to adopt the PFVA’s 11-year strategy to overhaul the country's horticulture sector.
The industry body’s ‘Horticulture 2030 Vision’ aims to increase the value of Pakistan's fruit exports from US$620m to US$6bn; generate 3m new jobs in agriculture; and export 'new' high-value products, such as berries, bananas and pomegranates by 2030.
"We want to change the horticulture sector completely," Ahmed told Fruitnet. "We need investment, centralised R&D and technological know-how to do it. The new Pakistan government is keen to boost exports, and when I met with Prime Minister Imran Khan he really listened.”
Pakistan is geographically well placed to serve the lucrative Chinese and Middle Eastern markets with produce, Ahmed added. It also has varied topography and microclimates that are perfectly suited to the production of a wide variety of exportable fruits, such as stonefruit and berries in the mountainous provinces, bananas in hotter provinces, and apples and grapes in more temperate areas.
China is interested in investing in Pakistan agriculture, he added. “China wants Pakistan to become a production and export hub to supply its consumer market,” he said.