ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan on Tuesday said the government has not imposed any duty on the export of potatoes, nor was it planning on importing the commodity, adding few with vested interests are creating confusion by fanning such rumours.
Talking to media, the minister said while the fresh crop of potatoes is being prepared for harvest, certain middlemen are spreading false news that the government has imposed duty on the export of potatoes and is planning to import the commodity, which has created unrest among the growers.
“The prime objective behind creating this confusion is to lift potatoes from the growers at cheap prices and sell them at high prices,” said the minister.
Bosan said such rumours were meant to demoralise the farmers and get the potatoes from them at throwaway prices. “Such tactics hurt the interest of both growers and consumers and only the middlemen take a hefty cut from the confusion,” he noted.
He said the federal government has requested provincial governments to establish a large number of markets for the farmers so that they are not exploited by a coterie of middlemen.
Bosan said Pakistan exported around 250,000 tons of potatoes last year and this year has also seen a bumper crop and a similar quantity is expected to be shipped.
On a different note, he said kinnow export was also going on satisfactorily and Indonesia was one of the new markets, where Pakistani fruit was being exported.
News source: The Express Tribune