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Full Version: First-ever floriculture project to start in mid 2010
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By Razi Syed

KARACHI: The first of its kind technology based pilot project in floriculture will start commissioning in mid 2010, director Agribusiness Support Fund (ASF), Mateen Siddiqui said Saturday.

The aim of this project is to enable the industry to earn millions of dollars per annum by increasing export to UAE, Saudi Arabia and European Union beside others.

Federal Commerce Minister, Makhdoom Amin Fahim asked Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board (PHDEB) to submit the project paper to Planning Commission.

According to the Minister, he said PHDEB under the umbrella of Ministry of Commerce had initiated a number of steps to develop floriculture sector in the country. He said the project with an estimated cost of Rs 280 million in Punjab would start working on cut flowers and technology based floral culture.

After the release of funds by the mid of next year, the PDDEB would achieve targets regarding promotion of flower industry by launching pilot projects in various cities of the country. He said Pakistan is successfully involved in biotechnology, tissue culture, cutting of floriculture, and as a result we are now in a position to export flowers to the developed world. ASF provides support in creating Agribusiness Enterprises by organising small farmers into Farmer Enterprise Groups (FEGs). The formation of farmer groups is outsourced to eligible organisations including RSP’s and other NGO’s. ASF has a target to form 1,250 FEGs, during its project life.

EUREP has developed a framework for Good Agricultural Practice, called EUREPGAP, and elaborated these into specific standards for the production of fruits and vegetables, combinable crops, livestock, feed and flowers.

Mateen said, “GlobalGAP is an important international production standard for suppliers of agricultural products to the retail sector, for suppliers of the participating European supermarkets”. ASF has approved 765 project grants worth a total Rs 247.80 million since its establishment for a diverse range of agribusiness projects. The FEGs are then eligible to apply for ASF`s support for the establishment and operation of profitable agribusiness ventures.

Pakistan, mostly a fresh flower market, is almost flooded with roses, a flower preferred in all types of ceremonies, as well as in perfume industry and in many Auravedic and Greek medicine preparations.

Pakistan has export potential in the global markets like UAE, Saudi Arabia and Russian Federation and European Union, he added.

In Pakistan majority of flowers are produced in winter while Europe yields low production in the same season due to snow. While most of religious and traditional occasions are held in this period and this is an excellent opportunity for Pakistan to promote floriculture sector to fulfill the demand of European markets.
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