TOMATO is a major crop for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. Tomato is also heavily imported by Russia, China, Middle East and other developed nations. Tomato is processed and converted into paste, puree or sauce.
It can also be processed as chopped tomato or peeled tomato. Tomato is packed in tin cans or food grade plastics for long-term storage and export. To help provide maximum benefits to tomato farmers and to reduce imports and increase exports, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan governments should help the private sector set up tomato processing units.
Since long-term cold storage for tomato and other crops is one of the main requirements for food industry, the government should create cold storages closer to new power plants.
The government should also provide land, utility connections, export finance and running finances through a single window facility to investors willing to set up a tomato processing and exporting plant in KP. With such measures Pakistani tomato will become a major export crop of Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, July 30th, 2020