Food minister assures all out support to GB in agri promotion
Mohammad Arshad Islamabad
Federal minister for National Food Security and Research, Syed Fakhar Imam, Friday, said that for the first time in Pakistan’s history the government was pushing agriculture forward with great zeal and zest.
In a meeting with Minister of Agriculture of Gilgit Baltistan, Kazim Meesam here Imam said that the ministry would do everything to facilitate Gilgit Baltistan.
rganic cherry and apricot market could be targeted for the growth of agriculture in Gilgit Baltistan.
Out of 3.5 lac ton of cherries produced, there is a 30-40% wastage according to a survey done by JICA. Of a total of 20 lac ton of apricot produced, approximately 40% is wasted, 80% of the total mulberry produced is wasted.
The federal minister suggested dehydrating and juicing of fruit for value addition.The federal minister also said that organic farming should be encouraged..
The minister told the federal minister that Agriculture extension and research have been granted 3.75 billion rupees for 4 years. The projects have been endorsed by the federal ministry.
Agriculture minister Gilgit Baltistan said that they face issues regarding Phytosanitary systems and Certification and would like the federal ministry’s assistance on the matters.
he agriculture minister said that the agriculture sector of Gilgit Baltistan is in dire need of marketing and investment to pick up the sector.
There are various varieties of apples and a total of approximately 9 lac ton is produced in Gilgit Baltistan.
It was suggested that jam production is a viable option for the preservation of fruit pulp and support the cottage industry of Gilgit Baltistan.
Moreover, trout farming is growing in Gilgit Baltistan and frozen product is being sent throughout the country. 15 tons of frozen trout was sent throughout the country.
Jamshed Iqbal Cheema, SAPM on Food Security and Secretary Agriculture Gilgit Baltistan joined the meeting as well.