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Pakistan moves to strengthen floriculture sector




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    With eyes on the vast floriculture market outside, Pakistan has set up model flora farms in several cities to promote the export-oriented flower industry.

    SRINAGAR — With eyes on the worldwide floriculture market, Pakistan has set up model farms in several cities to promote the multi-million dollar export flower industry, a government official said on Aug 5. The move is backed by the Federal Ministry of Commerce with direct support from the Pakistan Horticulture Development Export Board (PHDEB).

    “To achieve targets [in the] flower industry, PHDEB has launched pilot projects in various cities of the country. The area under floriculture cultivation is estimated to be around [405ha], and the land has been already earmarked,” said Federal Commerce Minister Makhdoom Amin Fahim.

    By strengthening its floriculture sector, Pakistan intends to supply the flowers to markets in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and the EU.

    “Flower exports can earn much foreign exchange,” said Mushtaq Khan, a florist. “To make money, though, there is a need to develop proper systems for the business.”

    The majority of Pakistani flower varieties are grown during winter, unlike Europe, where snow prevents production.

    Florists say this provided an excellent opportunity for the country’s floriculture sector to fulfill the demand of European markets and emerge as a leader in the field.

    PHDEB, under the umbrella of the Ministry of Commerce, has initiated a number of steps to develop the floriculture sector in the country.

    “A project for the establishment of floriculture common facilities farms has been submitted to the planning commission for funding,” Fahim said. “The project will be export oriented and serve as role model for floriculture.”

    Cultivation of the gladiolus, a bulbous flowering plant variety, has been initiated at a flora model farm in Hyderabad in the Sindh province.

    The best commercially cut flowers in Pakistan are roses, gladiolus tuberoses, marigolds, orchids and lilies. They and other ornamental plants are primarily grown around Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Multan, Faisalabad and Quetta.

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