Punjab Agriculture Minister Hussain Jahania Gardezi has said that the country can earn a lot of foreign exchange by exporting flowers for which it should focus on good quality flower nurseries.
Addressing a conference at University of Agriculture Faisalabad, he said that the Punjab government is executing a project under which various nurseries are being registered across the province to increase the production of flowers. It is taking all possible steps to address the issues of the agriculture sector, he said.
Gardezi emphasized on capacity building and training programs so that new varieties of flowers could be discovered which are compatible with the current climate change. He said that such conferences would provide a platform to all the stakeholders, which will not only increase the production of flowers but allow the Horticulture Department to achieve the objective of dissemination of information about its achievements.
Meanwhile, UAF Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmed Khan stressed upon the need to create an integrated value chain of flowers and training the staff to increase flower exports. He lauded the measures being taken by the government for the uplift of the agriculture sector and to ensure food security in the country. He said that the university was taking all possible measures to strengthen its ties with the farming community and disseminate modern agricultural practices.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Dirk Hogervost from Netherlands said that the floriculture market has seen stable growth over the years whereas the retail is growing rapidly. He said that during Covid pandemic, the consumption of flowers witnessed a rise.
Dean UAF, Prof Dr Aman Ullah Malik said that the development of a domestic market is necessary to increase export by making available good-quality seed, planting materials, technical know-how and the training of farmers.
Dr Iftikhar Ahmad said that they were aiming at promoting floriculture culture in the country which will not only help increase the income of the farming community but also earn foreign exchange. He said that the conference was meant to increase the capacity of farmers and to find the way forward for the development of the sector.