For the first time in country’ history, kinnow export has crossed $120 million mark during the current year indicating tremendous achievement by the exporters in terms of earning valuable foreign currency—which substantially contributes to the national exchequer.
Kinnow season usually starts in mid-October and lasts till March while exports kicks off by mid-December.
It may be recalled that last year, total export of citrus fruit stood at $90 million and in terms of weight 3.65 lac tonnes—which includes both mode of transportation i.e. sea and road.
So far, total export of the fruit during the last three months stood at 3.20 lacs tonne, which is although lower in terms of weight compared to previous year—but owing to persistent high price of the fruit during the current season, it has surpassed all previous records of foreign currency earning.
Talking to the scribe, former Chairman All Pakistan Vegetable and Fruit Association, Abdul Wahid informed that citrus fruit export fetched high prices mainly on account of skyrocketing rates of the fruit in the local market.
With the start of kinnow season, it was priced at around Rs 700 per 40 kg but currently, rate of the similar quality has climbed to the level of Rs 1200 per 40 kg, indicating an increase of 71 percent during the last three months.
Last year, similar quality was available at rates ranging from Rs 350 to Rs 400 per 40 kg and by the end of the season, it surged to Rs 650 to Rs 700 per 40 kg level.
The increase also manifests ideal opportunity for the exporters to fetch maximum price of the citrus fruit through export but as the season is about to end, exporters find themselves at a loss as to how to fulfill surging demand of one of the most demanded fruits of winter season.
Reopening of Indonesian market after a yawning gap of 3 to 4 years will also open new opportunities for the exporters.
Other markets that fetched great orders for kinnow included Middle Eastern countries, Iran, Eastern Europe, Russia and Ukraine.
A large quantity of the fruit was also dispatched to Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan by road route via Afghanistan.
Another major factor that helped boost export to Russia was improved weather—whereas during past years, lack of movement of kinnow-laden trucks caused by record freezing temperature ranging from minus 16 degree centrigrade to 26 degree centigrades, brought business activities to a grinding halt.
In response a to question he said that despite persistent orders local exporters are receiving from across the globe, lack of availability of citrus fruit during the current
Month may result in a loss of foreign currency, which the country needs badly at this point of time.
Some three or four years ago the kinnow export season lasted until mid of April but over the period of time it has shrunk to the month of March as exporters are unable to fulfill more than 50,000 metric tonnes worth of orders they have recently received from different countries across the globe.
Replying to a question, he said Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board (PHDEB) should work to improve and maintain the quality of the fruit and above all enhance its shelf life.
He said in order to ensure quality and grading of the fruit, training programmes, seminars and various workshops would be organised—which in turn will create awareness regarding the EurepGap and HACCP (hazardous analysis for critical control point) and motivate the stakeholders to implement these standards.
Courtesy Daily Times
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