LAHORE – Minister for Agriculture Dr Farrukh Javed has said that there is no duty on the export of potatoes and government will facilitate the exporters in potato export. He said that a bumper potato crop is expected and we are planning to export at least 0.3 million tons potato this year.
He said that a record 3.84 million ton potato was produced last year. Crop condition is also better and whether conditions are favorable, hence, a healthy production is expected this year as well provided the crop succeeds to avoid damaging effect from frost during the current month.
He said that potato has been cultivated over four lakh acres this year which is 3.5 per cent higher than the last year. He said that per capita overall consumption is 14.28 kg/annum and keeping in view the maximum population of Pakistan as 180 million, the overall consumption will be 2.57 million tons.
In addition another 0.5 million ton will be required for next year seed.
He said that keeping in view the average production of last five years at 3.36 million tons (95%) in Punjab, there will be still a surplus of at least 0.3 million tons minimum in Punjab which should be exported.
We are planning to export at least 0.3 million tons at the moment to benefit the farmer positively, he added.The Minister said that huge foreign exchange can be earned through timely measures while farmers could also get proper return for their labor.
The minister said that the fresh crop of potatoes is being prepared for harvest and we are keenly monitoring the situation for timely export of additional production. Our prime objective is that the growers get maximum benefit of their hard work and a better price can be offered to them, he added.
Dr.Farrukh Javed said that we will not let the middlemen interfere and farmers’ share will be given to farmers only.
He said Pakistan exported around 250,000 tons of potatoes last year and we are expecting a bigger volume of export this year. He directed that a watchful eye should be kept on potato crop and exporters should make arrangements for the export of surplus production abroad at the right time.
He also directed that Agriculture Department Extension Wing should provide training and necessary information to cultivators to save their potato crop from potential frost. He said that the government will export surplus potatoes so that farmers could be saved from economic crisis.
Source: The Nation
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