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Ministry trashes report about ban/duty on export of Pakistani potato

ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of National Food Security has refuted a report about imposition of ban and duty on the export of potato as baseless.

In a statement, a spokesman of the Ministry sad that the country’s total requirement of potato is 3.75 million ton while the expected yield is 4.2 million ton. Of the estimated produce of potato, some 95 to 97 percent is produced in Punjab.

In 2017-18 Punjab produced 4264.4 (95.96%) thousand ton of potato compared to 5.7 (0.12%) Thousand ton in Sindh, 152.6(3.063%) in KPK and 22.6 (0.9%) in Balochistan.

It said that the availability of potato remains continuous around the year from January to December. From December onwards up to January 20th new potato crop is available. The price structure also fluctuates from December to March. In 2018 it started from 33.0 Rs/kg in January to 28.8 Rs/kg in December.

The Ministry said that post 20th January crop is fit for export. There have been rumors that the current government stopped/banned the potato export not just this but levied duty on the export of this edible item.

This false news has led to unrest among the growers, traders and exporters, the ministry added. It said that the news has no ground and it baseless.

The spread of false news regarding ban on potato export is condemnable, instead government of Pakistan is facilitating the traders and built a facilitation centre in Okara for the ease of exporters. The centre wil have all the three basic things including inspection, documentation and grant of SPS certificate.

It is pertinent to mention that the import of potato is allowed for consumption purposes under SPS conditions and potato seed which is imported from one country is only allowed under stringent SPS rules to meet the seed requirements of the country.