How imported fruits spreading infections in Pakistan?


How imported fruits spreading infections in Pakistan?


Strict regulations and measures needed


The Ministry of National Food Security told the National Assembly special sub – committee on agricultural products that imported fruits are spreading infections in local product. The imported fruits transported from foreign countries were the main cause of spreading diseases at local level.

Food Security Commissioner Dr Waseem apprised the committee that there was no disease in the local product. The main reason behind the spread of diseases was that the imported fruits were infected. The health and food safety regulations are not followed while importing the fruits.
There are no strict check and balances on the quality of imported fruits. We should not import infections and diseases into our country on the name of fruits.

Pakistan also needs to tighten the regulations to stop the import of infected fruits in Pakistan. Pakistan needs to protect its own indigenous agriculture products to save it from infections and diseases. Every country in the world protects its food and agricultural products for the better health of its citizens.
  
Speaking about the export of kinnow, All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association (APFVEA) President Waheed Ahmed said that the total export of citrus around the globe was $14.8 billion but Pakistan only had a contribution of $170 million.

Ahmed said that Pakistan was exporting kinnow to 10 major countries while the production of the fruit was is 2.1 million metric tons.
He told the committee that the export had declined due to the fact that 60-70% citrus had developed infection.
The APFVEA president informed the panel that there are many varieties of kinnow in the world but Pakistan produced only a few.

He suggested elimination of duties for value addition and interest-free loans for the farmers.
“Iran is the second largest market for kinnow export. If it opens, the export of product will increase by 40%,” he said. Ahmed highlighted that India had also started the production of kinnow, which was a threat to Pakistan.

The committee directed the research institutions to play their role in promoting the production of kinnow. The meeting was also briefed about the production of honey in the country.
                                                  Business reporter

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