ISLAMABAD: The government intends to export 400,000 tons of surplus sugar and believes that the performance of the agricultural sector is improving despite natural calamities.
“The good news about surplus sugar was given to President Asif Ali Zardari during a meeting at the presidency by a delegation of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association led by its chairman Javed A. Kayani,” president’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar said on Thursday.
The PSMA chief said sugar production stood at about 4.7 million tons. After meeting the domestic requirement of 4.2 million tons, about 400,000 tons of sugar is available for export. “Export will enable mill owners to make payments to growers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Punjab and Sindh,” he said.
Sources in the agriculture sector said the country was exporting wheat and rice and sugar would be the third major commodity to be exported. They said the Punjab government was already exporting wheat and the centre was sending the surplus crop to Iran.
President Zardari expressed satisfaction over the sugar production and said: “It is a matter of great satisfaction that despite unprecedented natural calamities the country is not only in a position to meet its requirements but is also poised to export sugar.”
He said the government was committed to working in consultation with the sugar industry to solve its problems. “Only through the pro-active involvement of the business community and industrialists, the continuity of policies could be ensured,” the president was quoted as saying.
He advised the government to hold a meeting with the PSMA so that its proposal to export sugar could be sent to the Economic Coordination Committee of the cabinet for consideration.