Secy Commerce opens PHDEC Head Office
By Our Staff Reporter
ISLAMABAD: Secretary Commerce Younus Dagha on Monday inaugurated the new Head Office of the Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC) at the FPCCI’s in Islamabad.
The President FPCCI, Ghazanfar Bilour, Chairman PHDEC, Fuad Ishaq, Acting CEO PHDEC Muhammad Ashraf, the senior officers of the Ministry of Commerce and members of Board of Directors of the Company were present on the occasion.
PHDEC is a public sector organisation established by the Ministry of Commerce as Pakistan Horticulture Development Board in 2003, later converted into a Section-42 Company in 2009.
Due to several administrative and financial constraints, the Company’s performance gradually deteriorated and there was serious consideration of its closure in 2015.
It emerged that there was nothing wrong with the Company’s institutional rationale; the cause of its poor performance was gross mismanagement and lack of financial sustainability.
Since then, the company has been reformed and restructured drastically.
The administrative malaise was addressed by removing the politically appointed CEO, reconstituting the Board of Directors and purging the organisation of politically appointed personnel. The financial sustainability has been assured by the creation of an Endowment Fund.
Secretary Commerce held a detailed meeting with the Board of Directors of the PHDEC and discussed the Company’s work plan for the coming year. Addressing the Board he said that since the Company’s major administrative issues have been addressed, the Company should now focus on a comprehensive work plan for its operations related to export development and promotion, for which the administrative restructuring is only a means.
“I would like to underline that Ministry’s vision for the PHDEC is to make it a model sector-specific business support organisation in the public sector, which can be replicated for other sectors also”, he said.
The CEO made a detailed presentation to the Secretary and the Board on the work plan of the Company for the coming year.
He said that the Company plans to organisation participation of horticulture exporters in the international trade fairs, arrange visits of delegations to the target markets, invite foreign buyers to visit Pakistan and commission a market study of the potential of horticulture under CPEC.
For supply chain development the Company will be focusing on eradication of canker from citrus fields in collaboration with the provincial governments, certification of farms and processing facilities and development of a Farmers’ Market on M2 Motorway as a pilot project.
The pre-feasibility studies of the value-added products of horticulture will be conducted and made available to the potential investors, along with a bankable feasibility of a capital-intensive industry.
The Secretary Commerce appreciated the work plan and advised the Company to develop a National Horticulture Export Strategy which, inter alia, included an added emphasis on the development of floriculture sub-sector besides the fruits & vegetables.