The country is expected to have a bumper potato crop this season, which can fetch a record foreign exchange, said an official of Ministry of National Food Security and Research (NFSR).
National Food Security and Research (NFSR) Secretary Seerat Asghar said in a briefing at the Ministry that the potato harvest is underway in Punjab which grows over 90 per cent of the crop in the country and initial estimates put the potato yield at 3.71 million tonnes.
The provincial production breakup is expected to be as follows: 3,550 thousand tonnes in Punjab, 4.5 thousand tonnes in Sindh, 126.9 thousand tonnes in KP and 35 thousand tonnes in Balochistan.
The secretary further added that the bumper crop would not only keep local prices of potato stable but would also provide a huge opportunity to earn foreign exchange.
The secretary reiterated that record increase in export to Russia, Sri Lanka and Turkey was expected this year.
Due to influx of migrants, the demand for potato is on the rise in Europe and this may offer a good opportunity to Pakistan. He said that in the current unfavorable conditions, this record production may prove a sigh of relief for farmers as they may get good returns for their produce.
“It is high time to explore new markets for the export of surplus agri-produce,” he said.
The secretary brushed aside the rumors and reiterated that there was no restriction on potato export nor had any duty been imposed by the government.
“The ministry is taking adequate measures to ensure local market balance as well as facilitating export,” he said.