ICCI for focusing on development of Agro-Industries

  • April 26, 2010
Despite being an agricultural country, Pakistan could not reap agriculture gains up to the potential and government should focus on development of agro-industries to enhance the export of processed food products.

This was said by Zahid Maqbool, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) while chairing a meeting of ICCI Sub Committee on Food Exports. He said Pakistan has mostly been exporting raw crops while it can achieve much better results by promoting the export of processed food products such as fruits, vegetables, sea food and some other agro-based industries.

Committee members said that Pakistani processed food products have great potential to earn a major chunk of foreign exchange as some countries are vastly relying on imported edibles. They said that Libya imports about 75% of edibles to meet its domestic demand while Pakistan has great scope of enhancing exports of edibles to many other Gulf countries by developing its agro-industries as these countries mostly depend on import of these products.

Zahid Maqbool said that government should help farmers in modernizing agriculture by improving the areas of production methods, grain growing and harvesting techniques. He said government should also focus on effective development and promotion of the special economic zones and export processing zones.

He said there is also a dire need of improving the transportation and storage methods. He said government should provide incentives to the private sector for developing more storage facilities, which are critical for food safety and price stability.

He said adequate support should also be provided to develop private marketing channels for greater competition. He said these measures will help in poverty alleviation, employment generation along with broadening exports base and accelerating economic growth of the country.

Karim Aziz Malik, Vice President ICCI and Chairman Sub Committee said that progress of other sectors of the economy depends much on the development of agricultural sector and government should help agro-industries in value addition of products so that country could improve the economy by promoting the export of value added agricultural products.