Kinnow export problems

All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters Association had started the export of kinnow from December 1. The association anticipates bringing foreign exchange worth about $210 million this season. It may be noticed that Pakistan’s total production of kinnow is estimated to be around 2,100,000 metric tonnes this year; nevertheless the production of exportable quality kinnow is less. Of the total produce, 75 percent consists of B and C grade kinnow that are not up to exportable grade. This is due to the orchards are 60 years old and to various diseases. Further, Pakistani kinnow suffers from the common disease of spoil and skin disorder which poorly affects its superficial look. Due to this significant reason, the PFVA, for the last many years, had imposed an automatic-ban on exports to Europe to avoid a ban by the EU itself. Currently, as the demand for citrus fruits containing vitamin C was increasing in the international markets due to coronavirus pandemic, Pakistan is unable to exploit this exceptional opportunity to its benefit in spite being an outstanding producer of citrus fruits. Kinnow is exported through land and sea and owing to the non-availability of the containers and high freight charges, the export is countered with hard situations and is possibly to have an adverse impact on its export. It is strange that Punjab, a centre of kinnow production, could not attract the provincial government’s alertness towards the problems while the federal government also continues to disregard the long term problems being countered by the kinnow industry. Grieving that the association has been many times raising serious worries over the black clouds in the air above the kinnow industry to the federal as well provincial governments for the last many years. Pakistan’s kinnow industry is worth around Rs125 billion; the whole economy of Bahawalpur and Sargodha depends on this industry against about 250 processing factories of the citrus fruit located in Punjab are providing direct employment to 2.5 million people. The prevailing condition of COVID-19 globally has pressured the world to consume different kinds of fruits and vegetables, particularly Kinnow which contains largest vitamins to lessen the sickly effects and hazards and accelerate freedom against the pandemic.
Utilizing extensive science and biotechnology measures per-acre yields in Spain, Morocco and also Turkey are approximately 450-500 maunds as compared to Pakistan’s average of 150 maunds. To achieve a profitable fruit yields, the orchards ecosystem services could be expanded by light carbon allocation spaces, interruptions, nitrogen and water uptake processes, utilizing, agricultural practices in orchards have an influence on ecosystem formations. Over use of fertilizers to the orange orchards could increase leaking of the nitrogen which reduces the quality and destroy the soil-nitrogen availability for the plant by worsening the quality of drained waste. Merely 2.6 percent of Kinnow exports target was the developed countries’ markets, whose demand was rising for seedless variety, adding approximately 61 percent of total world exports of oranges and mandarins are of seedless varieties. Above 60 percent of the 2.1million tonnes grown are in this district of Punjab, most of which is consumed provincially. The waxing betters the fruit’s shelf life to 60 days energizing the country to bring above $200 million per year through exports to Russia, Ukraine, Indonesia, Middle East, Sri Lanka, Singapore, and some European destinations. Legal and unlawful exports to Iran and Afghanistan also pursue. Nevertheless merely 10 to 12 percent of about one million tonnes produced is exported and the remaining is consumed in the domestic market. Little attention is being devoted by the federal commerce ministry to their problems.
There is suggestion barter trade with Indonesia, selling kinnow against large palm oil imports, but to no success. Liberal farmer from Bahawalpur states about 30percent of the produce is lost owing to bad post-harvest technologies and inexperienced labor employed to collect the fruit. Each tree produces between 100 to 150kg kinnow. The yield is each year less due to absence of research on advancing new seeds, fake insecticides being marketed with freedom, greater farming and maximum use of fertilizers destroying natural soil fertility. Greenery and other dangerous diseases are also resulting financial losses to the growers as the agriculture research institutions are failing to discover a remedy fruits whitefly problem.
Citrus professional in Pakistan have been saying that exporting seedless kinnow can be the most beneficial way to sell the citrus fruit, due to its large demand across the globe. The scientists of Citrus Research Institute Sargodha stated about 95 percent of the different seedless kinnow contained only one seed, with more juice and a longer storage life. They stated seedless kinnow could be exported to Russia, UK, the USA, Germany and other European countries for better values. Citrus Research Institution Director mentioned all kinds of assistance and modern techniques were being provided to farmers for increasing per acre citrus production. To ameliorate citrus quality, to international standards, the latest varieties of seedless citrus fruits were being introduced which should be adopted by farmers. The known saplings of ARI 2016 seed, recommended by the Punjab Seed Council had been cultivated above 30,000 acres of the province, in Sargodha, Toba Tek Singh, Layyah and Vehari.
Afghanistan has imposed an import duty on kinnows from Pakistan, disturbing the 100,000-tons market to exporters. The two countries remain in talks, at signing a preferential trade agreement, besides reviewing existing agreements. Kinnow exports are going slow moving in the ongoing season, mostly owing to absence of acceptance in Afghanistan and Iran market through land routes. If the situation doesn’t change, Pakistan can lose kinnow exports. Pakistan kinnow industry is worth around Rs125 billion and the entire economy of Punjab’s large Bhalwal and Sargodha areas depends on kinnow cultivation. Some 250 kinnow processing facilities in the region provide direct employment to around 250,000 people. Iran was the second largest market for kinnow export, if it opened timely the export of product would increase by about 40 percent.

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