Islamabad (January 26, 2017)……….. The Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research (NFS&R) Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan has acknowledged the role and contribution of USAID for socio-economic development and poverty alleviation in Pakistan. This was stated by Federal Minister for NFS&R while addressing the august gathering of farmers, business community, agri. experts, PARC scientists and diplomats on the auspicious event of Kinnow Expo 2017, organized by USAID under U.S.-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development (AMD) Project in a local hotel in Islamabad.
Minister for NFS&R said that agriculture is backbone of our society and economy. The wheel of industry in Pakistan is mostly geared by agriculture, while our export earnings are substantially dependent on the produce of this sector. He said that citrus fruits especially kinnow are among the top fresh fruits which have demonstrated the potential for ushering such a laudable change. Citrus has been reported to account for more than 30 percent of the total fruit production in the country. Besides popularity in the local market, it has captured the attention in export markets all over the world.
Bosan said that Government of Pakistan is fully aware of the importance of agriculture and farmers in the socio-economic fabric of this country. Our Govt stands committed to the development of the agriculture as priority area. He said many development programs are under implementation. He said that the AMD project is making great strides in promoting quality of Pakistani kinnow enabling it to occupy prominence in existing markets and enabling access to new markets in the world.
While speaking on the occasion President Sargodha Chamber of Commerce Qaiser Iqbal has said that Sargodha is known as California of Pakistan for its bulk production of Citrus Fruit Mandarin (orange). Pakistan is the 6th largest producer of kinnow in the world. There is an average production of 1800 thousand tons from an area of 193,000 hectors under cultivation and in this production the share of Sargodha region is 94 to 96 percent produced in the area. He said that the fruit sector in Sargodha having the largest share of about 250 million US dollars exports, contributes almost 70% to the national fruit exports. He said there are 150 kinnow processing units operating in the area with international certification.
(Sardar Ghulam Mustafa)
Director (PR&P) PARC
Edited by: Muhammad Faiz Joyia
Director (SI), NARC