Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan said on Wednesday there was no ban on export of potatoes.
“The government has imposed no ban on export of potatoes or nor any duty has been levied on it,” the minister said while talking to media personnel.
He said that the private sector was free to export the commodity according to their assessments.
“We exported a large quantity of potatoes to Russia last year and this year exports of the commodity would also increase”, he added.
“We are not importing potatoes as enough quantity of the commodity is available in the country,” he said.
The minister said that there would be no increase in the prices of the commodity at home due to export of potatoes.
He said that the government was identifying new markets for the export of Pakistani potatoes.
The minister said that producers or growers were not getting their due prices for the commodity while the benefit of low prices was not being passed on to the local consumers either, as the middle man mafia was minting money at the cost of the rest of the community.
He said that his ministry and he himself had conducted meetings with the provincial governments, especially the Punjab government, for the maintenance of prices of various commodities including potatoes.
“I have suggested to them to establish more markets for the purchase of local produces and create an environment of competition to check the prices of fruits, vegetables and other food items including potatoes,” he remarked.
The minister said that new markets were also being identified for Kinnow exports, adding that Indonesia would be next new market where Pakistani Kinnows would start being exported.
“We are already exporting Kinnows to Malaysia,” he added.
Replying to a question, the minister said that the government had encouraged local growers of Moong pulses and had given them due prices for the commodity and due to this encouragement, the growers had increased their production.
This time the growers have also focused on the conventional crops, he added.