Pakistan Businesses Forum (PBF) has demanded the federal government to exempt tax and general sales tax on the manufacturing of cold storages for the period of next ten years. In a statement on Sunday, PBF Vice President Ahmad Jawad said that this step will address food security and increase perishable exports, demanding a five years tax holiday for the respective firms. He said that inflation in the country is high with food prices fluctuating all the time. This is basically because Pakistan does not have proper food storage facilities, and seasonal demands put a strain on supplies, resulting in ever-rising food prices, he explained. He said that in Pakistan, cold storages are filled only with potatoes and apples most of the time. However, there is no food processing industry to increase storage life. “This is needed not only to reduce food losses which are significant in Pakistan, but also to help farmers get better incentives and income, better document the value chain, increase credit to farm economies and help achieve overall competitiveness in the country’s rural sector,” said Jawad. He said that the government has to increase the food processing industry, and in this regard a viable incentive policy may be announced. “Tomatoes and onions can be converted into paste, wheat into biscuits, fruit into juices and concentrates, etc,” he said. Similarly mangoes and kinnows can be stored for about three and half months, cherries for 45 days, kiwifruit for six months, apples for 3-6 months, and bayberries for about 30 days, he further said. Even cold weather increases the demand for eggs, which naturally increases its prices, but if there is an egg powder processing unit, then during low demand, eggs can be converted into powder, which factories and bakeries can stock for later use, he suggested. The extension of storage period also brings higher added value. Fruits with higher added value, such as cherries, kiwifruit and golden pears, can be sold at higher prices when stored off-season, he said.