LAHORE: The country has exported 120,000 tonnes of potato in the last three months, Punjab’s Minister for Agriculture Farrukh Javed said on Monday.
Around 34,483 tonnes have gone to the United Arab Emirates, 41,283 to Sri Lanka, 11,231 to Malaysia, 2,977 to Qatar, 18,637 to Bahrain, 6,989 to Oman, 1,045 to Kuwait, 191 to the Maldives, 492 to Singapore, 875 to Russia and 59 tonnes to Somalia.
He said duty-free exports and government’s facilitation to exporters had helped produce positive results. Potato has been cultivated over 400,000 acres this year, which is 3.5 per cent higher than the last year. Keeping in view the average production of last five years at 3.36 million tonnes (95 per cent) in Punjab, there would still be a surplus of at least 300,000 tonnes in the province which should be exported, the minister said.
The prime objective of the government was to benefit growers for their hard work, and ensuring better prices through exports was one way of doing this, he said. “Farmers are getting direct benefit from potato exports and we will continue to export surplus crop. The government of Punjab is spending billions of rupees on several agricultural projects to benefit the farming community.”
Mr Javed added: “Indian products are banned in Europe, America, Russia and many other countries. In contrast, Pakistani food commodities are welcomed all over the world due to its best quality.
“The province had a bumper potato crop this year so we decided to make arrangements for exports on a massive level. With cooperation of the federal government, Punjab connected farmers and exporters, and positive results are for everyone to see.”