Iran has approved some nine newly established Hot Water Treatment (HWT) plants to boost the imports of vegetables and fruits from Pakistan. According to Dr Mubarik, Head of Department of Plant Protection (DPP), Iran had lodged complaint through its ambassador about the substandard quality of vegetables and fruits being exported from Pakistan. He said that Iran through its complaint stated that fruits, which were infected by fruit flies, were sending from Pakistan and also threatened to impose import ban on Pakistani food items. Reacting on Iran’s complaint, a delegation of experts from Plant Protection Organization (PPO) of Iran had been invited to Pakistan in June for the technical inspection of newly established HWT plants in order to boost country’s exports.
Moreover, he said that a delegation after thorough technical inspection of the HWT facilities submitted a positive report and now Iran had given go-ahead to some nine HWT facilities for immediate exports while some 10 other HWT plants were in process to get approval from the authorities. Dr Mubarik further said that efforts had been made to streamline quarantine and SPS issues between Pakistan and Iran during 2nd Meeting of Pak-Iran Joint Border Trade Committee between Seistan, Balochistan province of Iran and Balochistan province of Pakistan in Quetta and Pak-Iran Joint Trade Commission (JTC) in Tehran. He said that DPP was striving to uplift agricultural practices up to the standards of SAARC-GAP Model and added that five common facility packing houses had also been established in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Peshawar and Quetta for pre-export quarantine inspection and certification of export consignments to ensure pest free exports from Pakistan. He claimed that DPP through constant vigilance, regular field service, monitoring by e-locust/geographical information system (GIS), ground operations, safeguarded 300,000 square kilometres area of Balochistan, Thar and Chohlistan deserts from catastrophic breaks out of locusts.