Lahore, December 17, 2015 (PPI-OT): The federal government organization for SME development; the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA) has initiated coordination with the stakeholders of horticulture sector in Baluchistan to plan a fruit processing and packaging project at the pattern of “Agro-Food Processing Plant set up by SMEDA in Multan. It was disclosed by Mr. Muhammad Alamgir Chaudhry, Chief Executive Officer of SMEDA arriving back to the town after a meeting with Quetta Chamber of Commerce and Industry on this subject.
Addressing an in-house meeting today at SMEDA head office, he told that he had visited Quetta on a written request of QCCI, who had identified a need of setting up a fruit processing and packaging plant in Quetta to stop wastage of the huge quantity of fruits due to unavailability of the modern processing facility in Baluchistan. He told that during his visit to Quetta besides meeting with QCCI office bearers, he had met a large number of the stakeholders from Horticulture sector of Baluchistan including fruit traders, processers and exporters.
He told that Baluchistan was producing various varieties of good quality fruits in abundance, but due to non- availability of the modern packaging, processing and value addition facilities, a huge quantity of the fruits was being wasted every year causing enormous financial loss to farmers and business community of the province. Hence, there is a dire need of setting up a Fruit Packaging and Processing centre at Quetta just at the pattern of the “Agro-food Processing Centre established in Multan by SMEDA, he said adding that establishment of the proposed centre would not only stop wastage of fruits in the province, but will also go a long way to enhance export of fruits from Baluchistan and earn substantial amount of foreign exchange for the country.
CEO SMEDA recalled that Multan, being a major mango producing city, had also been facing the same problem, which was resolved by SMEDA having a plan of “Agro-food Processing Centre” approved as a PSDP Project. The federal government provided Rs. 207.73Million from PSDP to complete the project and project was running successfully since the year 2011 under the lead management of Private sector, he added.
CEO SMEDA assured to take concrete steps for meeting the genuine demand of QCCI for setting up the similar centre also in Baluchistan. He has invited a group Horticulture stakeholders from Baluchistan to have a study visit of Agro-food Processing Centre of Multan and hold broad-based consultations across the province so as to evolve a viable plan for the proposed centre in Baluchistan. He said, “as the federal government is determined on equitable development SME sector across the country, the plan of setting up a fruit processing and packaging plant would easily be materialized.
For more information, contact:
Liaqat Ali Gohar
DGM (Admin. and PR)
Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority (SMEDA)
4th Floor, Building No. 3, Aiwan-e-Iqbal Complex,
Egerton Road, Lahore
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