ISLAMABAD: As China has reportedly agreed to initiate the process of potato import from Pakistan after the latter fulfilled the sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements, exporters of horticulture products have urged the Ministry of Commerce to facilitate them in exporting over one million tonnes of potatoes to China.
In a letter sent to the Ministry of Commerce, the All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association has requested the MoC to help its members tap the Chinese potato market.
The letter, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, stated that recently, on the request of the Ministry of National Food Security and Research, it was agreed that China would immediately initiate the process of potato import from Pakistan after the latter fulfilled the SPS requirements.
China imports approximately 1 million metric tonnes of potato of various varieties from different countries, the association stated, adding, “The news that China desires to import Pakistani potato has been hailed by all potato exporters, as it would have a positive impact on their businesses.”
It noted that Pakistan has bumper crops of potato this year having substantial surplus quantity for export. “Had this unique opportunity been not surfaced, the growers would have no other option but to bury the huge surplus quantity in ground and to sustain huge financial losses.”
“This would have discouraged the traders from growing potato crop next year which would have resulted in an acute shortage. The government may have to import potato to make up for the deficiency which would add further burden on depleting foreign exchange reserves,” the letter stated.
Through the letter, the exporters requested MoC to initiate prompt action by inviting the Chinese quarantine team for compliance of SPS formalities so that promising potential of this big market could be effectively tapped which would fulfill the prime minister’s sincere desire to enhance exports.