Post-harvest losses in fruits and vegetables account for about 30 to 40pc of total production that is costing the billions of rupees to national exchequer, said University of Agriculture Faisalabad Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan.

He addressed inaugural session of National Workshop On Postharvest Management of fresh horticultural produce for academics arranged Institute of Horticulture Sciences. Ayub Agricultural Research Institute Director General Muhammad Nawaz Khan, Dean Agriculture Aman Ullah Malik, Dr Raheel Anwar and other notables also spoke. Prof Dr Iqrar Ahmad Khan Pakistan is still using old and traditional methods of harvesting, resulting in the low yield per acre compared to other countries. He urged the agricultural scientists to come up with doable technologies keeping farmers problems in the view and the strengthen ties with industry and farming community in order to disseminate technologies and lower down the losses. He called for reduction in post-harvest losses, identification of new markets, technological advancement and consistency of supply. Dr. Muhammad Nawaz Khan stressed upon the need of joint efforts on the part of agricultural scientists, farming community and other stakeholders to compete with the challenge. He said that they were making all out efforts for the development of the agriculture. Prof Dr Aman Ullah Malik said that the UAF was running a modern Postharvest Lab and actively engaged in industry focused research and development and capacity building activities, from farm to market. He called for value chain development for improving fresh produce. Dr Raheel Anwar said that the quality of produce begins deteriorating right after harvesting. He said that efforts are afoot to minimize these losses to safeguard the interest of growers, processors, and consumers.