Pakistan loses fresh food items Fresh food items worth Rs50b wasted every year


Pakistan loses fresh food items worth Rs50 billion every year because of lack of preservation.


FAISALABAD: 

Pakistan loses fresh food items worth Rs50 billion every year because of lack of preservation and value-addition technology, says an agricultural expert.


“Pakistan’s fruit exports are only 4.25 per cent of total production while major exporting countries such as Greece, Morocco and Spain export over 50 per cent of their produce,” said University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan while speaking at a training programme titled “Food safety management system” on Thursday.


The vice chancellor said the significance of the food industry for the economy could be gauged from the fact that it contributes 23 per cent to the gross domestic product (GDP) and employs 42 per cent of the workforce. He said in order to overcome losses, “it is a prerequisite to adopt state-of-the-art technology and enhance storage capacity,” adding under the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regime, the food industry would have to comply with international safety, quality, environmental and social standards.


National Institute of Food Science and Technology Director General Professor Dr Faqir Muhammad Anjum said the agro-processing industry was contributing 23 per cent to total value addition in the manufacturing sector.


“The emerging trade scenario at the global level brought challenges for Pakistan’s exports,” he said, adding issues like food hygiene and quality and environmental standards were a note of warning for the country’s major exports.


Published in The Express Tribune, July 1st, 2011.

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