Export of Kinnow from Pakistan has just begun and an export target of 300,000 metric ton has been set for the current season which is expected to generate valuable foreign exchange of US$ 19.5 millio.
Of the anticipated Kinnow production of 2.2 million ton, around 15-20 % would be exported.
According to Waheed Ahmed , Patron-in-Chief All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters , Importers & Merchants Association ( PFVA) ,keeping the huge losses sustained by the Kinnow exporters in Russian market during the previous season the exporter target for the current year has been kept 50,000 ton less compared to the last year .
Due to firm competition in the Russian market, the exporters had to export Kinnow to this International market at lower cost than its actual cost of shipments leading to huge financial losses of around US$ 6 million in the previous Kinnow season.
The exporters of Kinnow from countries of our competitors are reduced financial support by their respective Govt. while Pakistani Kinnow exporters can only wish to have such freedoms from their Govt.
Since the existing Kinnow orchards have already completed their life cycle and don’t have adequate resistance to protect against effect of climatic changes and diseases, thus we are now confronted with issue of Quality hence it’s needs of the hour to harvest new varieties of Citrus fruits.
Due to serious issues of quality, the Association (PFVA) has “self-imposed” ban since year 2014 on export of Kinnow to Europe. The Europe is a huge International maker for Pakistani Kinnow and can easily accommodate around 1000 containers.
However, to prevent any likely ban by the Europe, Pakistani exporters stopped export of Kinnow to Europe. The European market offers better price of Pakistani Kinnow compared to other conventional international markets and had export of Kinnow continued to this market, the export should have enhanced by 50%, Waheed shared.
While putting great emphasis on improvement of quality and exploration of new varieties to tap the European market, we also have to pay attention to get access to the International markets which are currently inaccessible since Pakistan does not have “Quarantine Protocols” signed with these markets otherwise future of the Citrus Industry providing employment to 3 million people would be bleak, Waheed feared
Waheed Ahmed stressed upon the Federal Ministry of National Food Security & Research and the provincial Govts. to initiate the process of R&D in the Horticulture sector so that serious concern over the food security can be promptly addressed.