USAID helping Pak citrus exporters become more competitive internationally

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APP79-26 ISLAMABAD: January 26 - US Ambassador David Hale addressing at the U.S - Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development Kinnow Expo. APP Photo by Irshad Sheikh

ISLAMABAD, Jan 26 (APP): The United States Ambassador to Pakistan
David Hale has said that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Pakistani government and the private sector were working together to expand the kinnow market to boost sales both here in Pakistan and abroad.
“This partnership will help to ensure Pakistani citrus exporters become more competitive internationally,” Ambassador Hale said in the opening ceremony of Citrus Exposition organized by the United States-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development at a hotel here Thursday.
Hale and Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan inaugurated the event.
“Advances in the citrus sector are among the earliest achievements
of the American – Pakistani Partnership, dating back to the 1960s, when
the kinnow fruit was first developed by the University of California, Riverside,” Ambassador Hale said.
He said scientists from both the countries established the first
kinnow plantation in Pakistan at the Experimental Fruit Garden at Punjab Agricultural College and Research Institute Lyall-pur, now known as University of Agriculture, Faisalabad. “Today we build on those early achievements.”
Speaking at the expo, the Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research expressed his appreciation for American-Pakistani partnership in the agricultural sector.
USAID launched the US-Pakistan Partnership for Agricultural Market Development in February 2015 to improve the ability of Pakistan’s commercial agriculture and livestock sectors to compete in international and national markets in four target product lines: meat, high value and off season vegetables, mangoes, and citrus.
This partnership acts as a catalyst for development and investment
in the target product lines, and promotes cooperation among farmers, processers, exporters, and buyers of agricultural products from Pakistan.
The United States is the largest trading partner for Pakistan, with total bilateral trade volumes approximating USD 5 billion annually. It is also the leading export market where more than 14% of Pakistan’s annual exports now find a market.