USAID Supporting the Fruit and Vegetable Pulping Sector in Pakistan

Tuesday, July 23, 2013: 2:00 PM
Desert Salon 13-14 (Desert Springs J.W Marriott Resort )
Waqar Ahmed , FIRMS Project, FIRMS Project, USAID, Lahore, Pakistan
Muhammad Azher Nawaz , Department of Horticulture, University College of Agriculture, University of Sargodha, Sargodha, Pakistan
Khalid Saeed Wattoo , FIRMS Project, FIRMS Project, USAID, Lahore, Pakistan
Babar Malik , FIRMS Project, USAID, Lahore, Pakistan
Raheel Anwar , Institute of Horticultural Sciences, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad, Faisalabad, Pakistan
Horticulture (and its allied sub-sectors) is one of the largest contributors to Pakistan economy, providing employment to both rural and urban populations. Pakistan produces 6.9 million tons of fruit and 8.1 million tons of vegetables each year. A large portion of these fruits and vegetables are sold to household buyers in fresh form, whereas a considerable quantity is perished when it shifts hands from farm to retail end. Compared to the potential, value addition of fruit and vegetable that entails better revenues and greater job opportunities is almost insignificant and out of these the share of the "pulp and concentrate" segment is even poorer with only 37,845 tons of annual pulp production, mostly of fruit pulp. Mango, apple, guava, and citrus (kinnow) are major fruits and tomato and carrot are vegetables being processed in the country, mostly for making juices and ketchup. The international trade of processed fruit and vegetable has almost doubled in the past 10 years, and the current global market of pulp is greater than $46 billion (U.S. currency), with a 5% growth rate per annum in future (IBIS World Industry Report). Due to poor pulp quality, Pakistan has not been able to avail this immense export opportunity and only a very small quantity of pulp is currently exported to the Middle East and Africa. Low-end industrial buyers in Pakistan, who have their own beverage brands, are the major buyers of locally produced pulp. However, high-end buyers, such as Nestle and Engro, have to import quality pulp to meet their demand. All this provides lucrative opportunities for the Pakistani pulping sector.  To exploit this opportunity, the USAID Firms project has launched a comprehensive program to develop the value chain of the pulping sector of Pakistan. Initially it has selected nine fruit and vegetable pulping units from Lahore, Okara, Khanewal, Multan, Chiniot, and Karachi districts to provide broad based technical and financial assistance to improve product and process standardization, quality control, compliance with food safety standards and certifications, and develop export linkages. Another major initiative is to convert the pulping facilities from single line (product) to multiline (multi-products) to make them more cost competitive by increasing their annual utilization factor.