The opportunity provided to Pakistan by the “World Food-Moscow” fair to showcase its agricultural produce has been lost due to the lousy approach of the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP). The fair was inaugurated in Moscow on September 17 and will continue until today ie September 20. Pakistan is a big producer of Kinnow and potatoes and Russia is the single biggest market for Pakistan.
According to reports reaching here only three to four private exporters are displaying Pakistani fresh fruit with excellent interior and exterior décor, similar or better than other exhibitors. Unfortunately, however, much to the disenchantment of private exporters, the TDAP, although it is participating in the event, its stall remained empty the whole day on 17th, the day of the opening as well on the 18th. Pakistani exporters were told that the reason being that neither the cargo dispatched from Pakistan arrived in time nor the printing material was available for distribution/promotion of Pakistani products. Indeed it was a pathetic site watching the haunted TDAP stall.
Pakistani exporters say that there are two big fruit shows held every year. The first is “Fruit Logistica” in the month of February, held in Berlin, Germany and the second is “World Food-Moscow”. At the conclusion of last “Fruit Logistica” exporters had written a letter to the then CEO, TDAP, Tariq Iqbal Puri, but neither did he respond nor bothered to give an appointment. The only purpose of this exercise was to explain to him what the exporters saw and explain to him the benefit of Pakistani exports but he had no time as “he was involved in high profile travelling.”
Exporters feel that there is a lot the government, our exporters, farmers and growers could do by joining together. The Moscow fair is the third largest of agri products fair. Unfortunately, however, no concentrated efforts have either been made or are being made by Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) or by Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Association or by federal and provincial governments with the result that 50 percent of our fruit rots or are sold at throwaway prices as we do not have the facilities or attitude to preserve it.