ISLAMABAD, OCTOBER 06, 2011: Due to timely monsoon rains, bumper kinnow crop is expected during the current year (2011-12), raising chances for the crop to surpass exports figures of previous year.
“Despite post harvest losses that are caused due to the lack of adequate facilities and proper training of picking and packing, bumper kinnow crop production is expected this year,” Chief Executive Officer, Harvest Tradings, Ahmed Jawad said.
He said that recent monsoon has come at the proper time, giving solid hope for quality fruit, as orchards’ health is great, lush green and full of fruits adding quantity as well as quality is expected this season. Jawad said that the grain is juicy and good in weight while right now the fruit is at the developing stage—and will size up, getting its colour by mid November.
“For the upcoming season which starts in next month, there are encouraging reports ranging around 2.5 million metric tonnes of production and there is strong prospects that country’s exports would surpass previous years figure,” Jawad remarked.
He claimed that the national exchequer would earn up to $200 million if the export target is met, saying that shipping companies caused losses worth more than $0.35 million last year because of delays in shipment. He feared that a similar fate awaits exporters, this year too. Ahmad Jawad said the commercial prices seem to be a bit on the lower side, but it will be confirmed at the time of price negotiation.
Jawad said the citrus season starts in mid November and lasts till mid-April, while exports would start by mid December with a variety of Kinnow.
Middle Eastern countries, Iran, Bangladesh, Eastern Europe, Russia and Ukraine are potential buyers while Indonesia and Malaysia have recently emerged as strong buyers.
A recent study showed that between January and April 2011, the citrus import volume in Russia noted a 29% increase compared to the same period in 2010.
He said during the current year Indonesia has agreed to do away with 25 percent import duty on Pakistani oranges to reciprocate Pakistani government gesture of making a downward revision on import duty on palm oil.
He briefed that University of Agriculture Faisalabad was also working on the proposals of the stakeholders to improve and maintain the quality of the fruit. He further said the proposals include enforcement of quality and grading standards, pre-shipment inspection and some incentives like subsidies on airfreights for those exporters who would voluntarily present their goods for inspection.
Training programmes would also be organised for the growers, processors and exporters by holding various seminars and workshops and creating awareness among the stakeholders on the EurapGap and HACCP (hazardous analysis for critical control point) and motivating them to implement these standards.
According to CEO Harvest Tradings, private sectors were keen to make cold storage and packing houses in the country, however, demands stayed unfulfilled as they were looking for soft loans from local banks. Ahmad Jawad emphasised that more than 200 packing houses will be in action with production of about 8000 metric tonnes per day adding that commercial exporters were supporting kinnow industry and sharing the main business risks of common processors.
Meanwhile, he said that kinnow is being exported in all destinations and permission for kinnow import in Iran at a meager 4 percent duty, will be a great opportunity for Pakistani exporters and they availed it fully by sending huge consignments to Iran.
He further demanded that a detailed conference of one week should be called on “exports and future plans of Pakistani Kinnow” with the participation of all stakeholders from the government and private sector.
The conference would help resolve the issues related to post harvest losses, lack of infrastructure interims of modern labs and pack houses issue should be highlighted with solution.
Courtesy Daily Times
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