Her Excellency Rukhsana Afzaal
Agro food is a forte of Pakistan and one of the most resilient and robust sectors of our economy. Our food exports as of 2020-21 stood at US$5.5 billion, half of which (US$ 2.7 billion) comprised rice exports. The fruits and vegetable sector’s contribution was valued at US$398 million. Different climates in different regions of Pakistan result in the availability of diverse fruit and vegetable varieties. Around 35 kinds of vegetables are grown across numerous ecosystems in Pakistan, ranging from dry to wet, rain-fed to irrigated and low to high elevation zones.
Pakistan is already exporting oranges and mangoes to Singapore and looks forward to exporting many other fruits including apples, apricots and grapes. Over the years, the quality, standardization and packaging of our fruits has considerably improved making it more competitive in the international market.
Similarly, livestock contributes 62% to Pakistan’s agriculture sector and 14 % to the total GDP. The use of modern technology in the meat and poultry sector including latest slaughter techniques, disease-free zones for livestock, quality feed and hygiene and improved packaging has helped Pakistan compete in the international market. Pakistan’s poultry sector has witnessed a growth of 7.5 % over the last ten years and ranks 11th globally.
I would strongly urge the food importers in Singapore to explore food sourcing from Pakistan not only for local market but also for re-export in the region.