SMEDA has revised its action plan to establish an agro-food processing facility in Balochistan. The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) intends to minimize post-harvest losses to farmers and add value to the crop yield of the country.
According to the reports, the Ministry of Industry and Production intends to install a production facility for Balochistan’s agricultural produce. The facility will store fruits such as apple, peach, plum, apricot, tomato, grapes, and carrot.
This project mirrors the recent mango processing facility set up in Punjab a few years ago. Local SMEs greatly benefited from it, and the proposed facility in Balochistan will potentially act as a similar processing facility, protecting farmers’ yield of apple, tomato, carrot, and plum in the region.
According to the Ministry of Industry and Production, farmers in Balochistan will incur minimal post-harvest losses with this facility. Moreover, their profit margins will improve significantly, and the idea of value-addition will change the economic landscape in the region.
Elements of Market Growth
Along with the new agro-facilitation center, SMEDA is researching to formulate proficient solutions for market growth, estimation of local market size pertaining to output, market gap and current production, the market price of end-product, and most frequented market segments pertaining to demographic highlights.
Furthermore, with this study, SMEDA intends to revamp Pakistan’s export potential for fruits. The planned study would highlight processed fruit, concentrate, and pulp, identify the top three export markets along with certification and compliance requirements.
According to PBS, Pakistan exported fruits worth $431 million in the previous fiscal year, making up 0.4 percent of the world’s fruit exports. Currently, the world’s fruit trade stands at a resounding $117 billion.
Pakistan is a producer of a variety of fruits. However, due to a few unfortunate circumstances, it has not been able to export most of its fruit produce successfully. The Ministry of Industry and Production has upgraded harvesting technology to minimize post-harvest losses, however, the need for improvement continues to grow.
According to a Research Gate report, Pakistan’s top export markets for fruits include Afghanistan, India, UAE, Russia, and China.
The report stated,
Conforming to European and other developed countries’ health and safety standards has become a major challenge for Pakistani exporters. European Union is the most strict in food safety.
According to a UNIDO report on Pakistan’s Horticulture Sector, a few production standards have been identified for improvement. Export numbers will jump once each indicator is addressed.