BY IFTIKHAR MASHWANI
ISLAMABAD :The NA Standing Committee on Commerce was displeased in the decreased of export of Pakistani crops were 14% this year due to mismanagement and lack of coordination between the concerned departments.
The Committee recommended that TCP may take stringent measures to increase the import of crops of Pakistan. The Committee further recommended that M/o Commerce may provide subsidy to farmers by offering various incentives like subsidy in electricity bill and Urea / DAP etc. so that they could work more effectively.
Meeting of the Standing Committee on Commerce was held in Karachi,chaired by Siraj Muhammad Khan, MNA.
The Committee expressed strong displeasure over the poor performance of Trading Corporation of Pakistan (TCP) as it failed to achieve the targets set by the government.
The Committee decided to discuss the import and export policy of M/o Commerce during the next meeting likely to be held on 9th May, 2016 therefore the Committee deferred remaining agenda in its next meeting Earlier, Chairman TCP briefly apprised the Committee about efforts made to enhance the export of the Pakistan and problems faced by them in this regard.
In 2012 Pakistani exported agriculture products worth Rs 288.18 billion including food grains, vegetables, fruits, tobacco, fisheries products, spices and livestock.
According to Food and Agriculture Ministry (Minfal) officials Pakistan during 2009-10 exported fruits amounting to Rs 20 billions, Rs 19 billions fisheries products, Rs 1.15 billions tobacco/tobacco products, Rs 180 billions rice including Basmati and Irri-6, Rs 10 billions vegetables, Rs 10 billions livestock and meat products, Rs 2.25 billions spices, R 13.78 billions oilseeds/nuts and Rs 32 billions other agri products to different countries.
Agriculture sector of Pakistan accounts for over 21 percent of GDP and is the primary supplier of raw material to the downstream industry and therefore contributes substantially to Pakistan’s exports besides, absorbing 45 per cent of the total labour force.
In 2011 exported 153,543 live animals, which is 15 per cent more than the previous year. Pakistan at present had around 110.055 million animals. According to chairman, Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap), Pakistan is world’s fifth largest exporter of rice, exported 2.38 million tons between July and February 2010-11, down from 2.82 million tons in the same period last year. The export of non-basmati rice dropped 25 per cent to 1.66 million tons from 2.22 million tons during the first eight months of the 2010/11.
But the shortfall was marginally offset by a nearly 19 per cent rise in the export of basmati rice to 718,187 tons, from 603,389 tons in 2009/10.
Pakistan had a bumper crop of 6.7 million tons of milled rice in 2009/10 and exported about 4.5 million tons; domestic annual consumption was about 2.3 millions tons. According to officials, currently Pakistan has exported 1.2 million tons of wheat out of a total of 3 million tons allowed by the government. If Pakistani exporters successfully export three million tons of wheat at current international prices ie $340 per ton it would earn $1.02 billions. This year Pakistan has achieved its kinnow export target for 2010-11 by exporting about 300,000 metric tons of the commodity. Citrus was grown on an area of about 199.5 thousand hectare with annual production of 2458.5 thousand metric tons.
According to Pakistan Horticulture and Development Company, Pakistan produces over 1.6 million tons of mangoes annually and last year it exported about 130,000 tons The demand for Pakistani fruit and vegetables is high across the world. Presently, Pakistan is exporting fruits and vegetables to US, Europe, Middle East, Far East, India and Sri Lanka. Mango, kinow, apple, dates, pine nuts, oranges, banana and guava are few well exported fruits and among vegetables potato, onion, mushroom, garlic and chillies are major export items.
The data shows that Pakistan is heavily relying on one market for exporting each item. For example, Dubai is the biggest market for Pakistani mango following England and Saudi Arabia. Sri Lanka is the only market for Pakistani fresh apple as over 90 per cent of the fruit is being exported to Sri Lanka. There is a need to explore new markets for Pakistani fruits and vegetables to expand export base.
Kinow is the most exportable fruit of Pakistan and 32.5 per cent of total exports is being made the Middle East alone, followed by Indonesia (22.5 per cent), Philippines (16 per cent), Sri Lanka (11.6 per cent) and remaining 17.4 per cent to other markets of the world, but this year a huge quantity of Kinows was exported to Afghanistan, which raised the price of fruit in the local market.