Agro food processing plant capacity to be enhanced by 150 percent: Razak Dawood

MULTAN, May 2 (APP)::Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry, Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said on Thursday the capacity of the Agro Food Processing (AFP) plant would be increased by 150 per cent.

He was talking to mango farmers during his visit to the plant, which produces pulp from fruit, mostly mango at the Industrial Estate Area in Multan.

Soon after getting briefing from plant Chief Executive Officer Zafar Ahmad, the PM’s advisor interacted with mango farmers and assured them of all help to solve their problems. He said that plant’s capacity of 10-ton pulp per day would be enhanced up to 25 tons per day.

Mango farmers said that out of total 1.7 million-ton production of mangoes, only 85,000-ton quantity is exported. They demanded that national flag carrier should operate cost-effective cargo service for mango consignments to international destinations.

They said that Emirates airlines used to carry mango consignments, but it stopped that service since July 2018. They also demanded that mango festival should be organised every year in Multan.

Razak Dawood promised that mango festival would be made a regular annual feature in Multan and invited mango growers to visit him in Islamabad for a detailed discussion on how to improve mango exports.

Earlier, Agro Food Processing plant CEO Zafar Ahmad said that Multan produces many varieties of mango but farmers hardly get the returns they deserve. He said that the plant was registered as a food processing facility in July 2012 and was set up with funding from provincial and federal governments.

He said that the plant had thus far processed 250,000 maunds of fruit into pulp at a cost of Rs 9.8 million and it provides seasonal jobs to 10,000 people every year. He said that plant’s cold storage capacity was 600 tons which would be increased to 800 tons.