Pakistan has officially kicked off its Kinnow export two months before and the government has set an export target of 400,000 tonnes for 2015-16 which is 100,000 tonnes higher than the target for the previous season. However, growers and exporters warn that this year, Kinnow production is not optimum and that there is very chance that the target will be missed by a big margin, said horticulture exporter, Ahmad Jawad.
Talking to Business Recorder, Jawad said the low export quality yield during the ongoing season would keep Pakistan away from the opportunity to avail the gap created by the Russian ban on the import of Turkish oranges after the recent crisis in the Middle East.
He said if the government doesn’t adopt preventive measures, Kinnow export will be reduced further in next two to three years. This year all big names in Kinnow export have cut their shipments by 50 percent. Despite the fact that import duty is 0% on Kinnow for Europe after winning GSP Plus status by Pakistan but Department of Plant Protection (DPP) is not satisfied with the quality of Kinnow for the European market and we are losing this opportunity on yearly basis.
It is high time that Kinnow farmers should also open their eyes to save their own business and adopt good practices for quality yield to enhance exports. Though the export target is at the lower side after crops in Punjab were damaged for so many known reasons and the value of exports will be 40 percent less, said Jawad, adding that bad crop will lop nearly $80 million for the value of exports. Exporters expected to export around 200,000 tons only for the ongoing season which started on December 1st, 2015.
Jawad also told that the country exported 315,000 tons in the season of 2013-14. International sales earned $170 million and in the last season the country fetched $200 million from the export of 350,000 tonnes of kinnow which surpassed that year’s target. As the boost came last year when Russia banned fruit from the European Union and Pakistan was able to send 100,000 tonnes of kinnow to Russia.
On the other hand, producers are also facing low yield per tree this year. The low yield phenomenon has aggravated in the current season. “However, it has remained a persistent problem but we should not forget other quality problems which hampers the process as well.” Further, the market is rife with speculations that Indonesia has banned the import of Pakistani kinnow. However, the representative trade body firmly denies these reports, yet the rampant confusion may deter some prospective exporters from closing deals there.
The lack of shipping capacity to reach markets in the Far East and weak purchasing power in Russia on the back of a sliding ruble are also concerns exporters, he added. He urged the government to announce relief incentives for Kinnow farmers and subsidy its export for the revival of the export in order to meet the target set by the government.
Source: Business Recorder