By Zoha Marjaan
KARACHI: Exporters have reduced kinnow export target by 50,000 to 325,000 tons this year, saying Pakistan was facing huge competition by other countries.
All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) has set current year export target of kinnow to 325,000 tons by reducing 50,000 tons compared to the last year.
Due to high cost of production of the citrus fruit and with stiff competition with big exporters of citrus fruits namely – Turkey, Morocco and other big producers of citrus fruits in the international markets, Pakistan is confronted with real tough competition, said Waheed Ahmed, Patron-in-Chief PFVA and Vice President-FPCCI.
The export of kinnow is due to commence from 1st December 2018. Production of kinnow during this year is expected to be around 2.0 million tons, however due to limited availability of good quality of exportable kinnow, the export target has been curtailed this year.
A record export volume of 375,000 tons was attained during last year fetching foreign exchange of US$200 million while with the current export volume of 325,000 tons, the country is expected to earn foreign exchange of US$180 million.
The devaluation of Pakistani currency has lost its favorable impact due to upward revision of freight charges by the shipping companies, rise in cost of packing material and substantial increase in local transportation charges while with an increase of Rs100, the cost of purchase of kinnow has become Rs800 per mound this year, he said.
Russia, Indonesia, Gulf countries and Middle Eastern countries are big importers of Pakistani kinnow while Iran had also been a big buyer as well, however this is the seventh consecutive season of kinnow, Pakistan continues to face ban on import export of kinnow by the Govt. of Iran. Iran is an international market having capacity of 80,000 ton to 100,000 ton of Pakistani kinnow which had been closed for several years.
Though Russia is a big market of Pakistani kinnow, however Pakistan is faced with stiff competition from Morocco and Turkey in this market.
According to Waheed, the collective export of citrus fruit and value-added products can be enhanced to one billion US dollar within five years, however to attain this target, it’s imperative to grow new varieties of citrus fruits through extensive Research & Development besides ensuring kinnow “free from all diseases” and to increase yield per acre by setting up new orchards.
The province of Punjab, being a hub of kinnow production, has not paid any serious attention while making plea of 18th amendment, the Federal Govt. has also ignored issue of kinnow industry, he lamented.
Due to poor quality and various diseases which has engulfed kinnow, Pakistan has been unable to take advantage of the gigantic international markets of China and Europe, Waheed Stated.
However now in this changing scenario due to ongoing project of CPEC the access in Chinese big market would become easy and it’s anticipated that China would become a big buyer of Pakistani kinnow.
By acquiring technology from China, production of crop of kinnow and other fruits can be substantially enhanced, he said.