The world horticulture market is valued at $80 billion to which Pakistan contributes $130 million annually. Only about 16 per cent of fruits are being processed. The potential markets for Pakistan exporters have been identified in Europe and the Middle East. However, the fruits and vegetables exported in fresh form attracted discount prices as exporters are unable to provide adequate grading and packing.
Overview of Fruits & Vegetable Industry
There are more than 28 types of fruits and 30 types of vegetables are grown in the country throughout the year. Amongst them all are detoured in the domestic markets. Production of peach, persimmon and pomegranate reflects the strong domestic market demand for horticulture crops. Citrus fruits, primarily Kino, are the largest fruit crop by volume and a major export revenue earner. Pakistan is also the fourth largest producer of dates.
According to the latest figures fruit and vegetables export from the country has increased by 68.69 per cent and 117.54 percent respectively during the first half of the current financial year. About 2,92,578 metric tons of fruit worth $116.11 million was exported as compared to 179,399 metric tons of fruit worth $ 68.83 million in the same period last year. Similarly, about 141,901 metric tons of vegetables were exported as against 62,967 metric tons in the same period last year.
In NWFP and Northern Areas, there is great room and scope for promotion of citrus fruits, peaches, plums, apricot, persimmon, apple, strawberry, guava etc. In Punjab citrus, mango and guava, while in Sindh mango, banana, dates and papaya and in Baluchistan apple, grapes, dates, stone fruits (apricot, peach, plum, cherry etc.) and pistachio can be targeted for international marketing by promoting processing industry for value addition and export.
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