Pakistan’s huge food export potential

GOVERNMENT unveiled new trade policy on Tuesday envisioning to raise country’s exports currently standing at $ 24 billion to $ 35 billion during the next three years. To achieve the target, Minister for Commerce Khurram Dastagir while addressing the news conference said, main focus would be on competitiveness, efficiency driven and innovation driven economy and increase in regional trade, besides facilitating the exporters.
Though some of the major countries have suffered setbacks in exports level due to different global factors, we believe, Pakistan has the capacity and potential to substantially push up its exports in diverse sectors. In our view, the target set by the government does not commensurate with our immense and multidimensional potential and it should have been fixed much higher than the existing one. Exports can be enhanced through penetration into different world markets with innovative and best quality products and services but for this, we also need to extend maximum support and facilitation to the important sectors particularly the agriculture. According to a report published in this newspaper, the country’s food and agro sector exports to the UAE touched half a billion dollars mark last year reflecting an increase of twenty seven percent. Similarly, the country could enhance its agro based products to other countries as well by introducing much needed diversification and value addition in the products. East Punjab in India which has the same fertile land as ours, is serving as food basket because of the unparalleled incentives being extended to the farmers by their government. It is however lamentable that this vital sector and the poor farmers have constantly been neglected in our country but time has come to provide them with the required assistance and technology to bolster agro products and value addition. Only in the Halal meat industry, Pakistan has the potential to become a market leader since it has all the required ingredients to capture a sizeable share in the US $2 trillion industry. We will ask the government to involve the private sector for giving a major boost to exports. Besides, all the incentives that are available to the agriculture sector in regional countries particularly India, should also be extended by the government to its farmers to bolster agro related products.

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