Apple grading plant, set up by the Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company in collaboration with the Agriculture Department Balochistan in Quetta, is non-operational since last many years due to law and order situation and no interest shown by the concerned official.
The plant was set up to boost exports of apple from Pakistan. However, its closure has not only stalled its exports, it also not helping to save 40 percent production of apple going waste due to absence of cold storage and other related facilities, sources told Business Recorder here on Wednesday. Quetta Apple grading plant was revived by the PHDEC, which at that time was known as Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board (PHDEB) in year 2008 and it started its operations by exporting first container of 23 metric tonnes of apples to Sri Lanka.
The project contains facilities like an apple treatment plant which includes grading, washing, waxing and drying facilities. It also includes a cold storage of 250 tonnes capacity to partly cater to the needs of the apple treatment plant. The plant having a capacity of five tons per hour will be able to process around 6000MT per annum.
Sources in the PHDEC confirmed that the plant could not continue its operation after sending only two consignments to Sri Lanka and the reason behind it is law and order situation due to which exporters and investors are reluctant to keep it going.
“Apple is third largest fruit crop of Pakistan after mango and citrus and there is a wide scope to enhance its export”, the sources added. They said that the company was trying its level best to make this national asset operational, however, all the efforts failed. They said that even the growers and exporters from Balochistan were tried to convince and motivated but of no use.