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poised to become organic king of the world: report
KARACHI, October 30 (Internews):
Pakistan is poised to become a major
supplier of organic food to the world in the wake of rising
international demand for it and a healthy production base in the
"Pakistan has vast opportunity to avail the emerging world demand for
organically produced food items," says the annual state of the country's
economy report produced by the State Bank of Pakistan. "Pakistani
farmers should go in a big way to grab this opportunity."
Retail sales of organics in 2001 in the United States alone are
projected at $60 billion, the report reveals, quoting from a survey on
Organics Consumer Trend 2001, published by the US based Natural
Marketing Institute in cooperation with the Organic Trade Association.
They project sales of organic agricultural products of the kind produced
in Pakistan to touch $500 billion worldwide by the year 2005.
Suspicious of 'mad cow' and 'foot and mouth' disease and the Genetically
Modified Organisms technology, consumers in the West have become
increasingly wary of even the use of chemical fertilisers and
pesticides, otherwise an integral part of modern farming.
"Pakistan being an agricultural country should make use of this emerging
opportunity by producing higher exportable surplus of organically
produced kitchen items, in the first phase and production of staple crop
(cotton), on the selected fields, in the second," the SBP report
The report says that Pakistan enjoys a greater opportunity of exporting
these items to the neighbouring countries of the Gulf region such as
Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and Kuwait,
besides exporting to industrialised countries.
In Pakistan farming practices at generally very close to the organic
approach, the report observes and points out that most of the
un-irrigated lands with their intact biological conditions can better be
utilised for undertaking organic enterprises.
"As a matter of fact many farmers in Pakistan are already engaged in
producing organic agricultural products," it notes while identifying
other inherent advantages that lead towards exercising the option of
organic farming favourably.
These are availability of labour at cheaper rates, availability of
unexploited resources of land and least exposure of Pakistan's farmers
to genetically modified organisms technology.
Pakistan's current export earnings from vegetables and fruits to Europe
and neighbouring countries stand at $115.6 million during the last
fiscal ending June 2001.
With domestic environment conducive to producing organic vegetables,
fruits and livestock products, Pakistan can be introduced as a supplier
of organic food items by launching a powerful marketing campaign in
international market, the report says.
"This is a good opportunity of earning foreign exchange through
non-traditional exports because organically produced food items, at
present fetch higher prices than inorganic counterparts," it says.
In organic farming, farm produce is obtained without using chemical
fertiliser, pesticides and herbicides and genetically modified organism
In its less strict form, an organic enterprise is supplemented only by
kinds of fertilisers and pesticides that are not liable to kill or
destroy any activity of soil organisms. -Internews
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