Department of Plant Protection (DPP)’s quarantine unit of the federal government has banned potatoes and tomatoes import from Iran. This unit is responsible to account for the import and export of edible goods in Pakistan. Now as it has banned potatoes and tomatoes from Iran, there is this fear that prices of both these goods would increase and there will be a shortage of these vegetables across Pakistan.
Tomatoes and potatoes coming to Pakistan from Iran’s Taftan border have been banned. This would create a shortage of these commodities. The food factories that make potato chips in Pakistan receive a special type of potato called Agria from Iran. But now because of the ban, these companies have started locally purchase potatoes in bulk.
The demand and price of the products have increased and there is a possibility that would continue to increase sharply in the upcoming days.
Similarly, because of heavy rains in Sindh, tomatoes under cultivation were lost. Now the new batch of tomatoes will be harvested in December. Tomatoes from Iran are imported to meet the demand of the consumers in Pakistan but because of the ban, chances are that prices of tomatoes will increase sharply.
Because of this situation, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Traders Association officials met the secretary agriculture and told him about the situation. Thus, the Punjab Agriculture Department sent an emergency letter to the Ministry of National Food Security and Research asking them to review the ban.
Punjab Agriculture Department’s Special Secretary Punjab Waqar Hussain said, “We have requested the federation to lift the ban. At the same time, we are taking steps to increase the supply of tomatoes by contacting the Balochistan government. We will also contact the federal authorities on this issue.”