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Pakistan: Kinno exports expected to rise with seedless variety in sight

Kinno has become a major export item of Pakistan with still brighter prospects for future as the country’s researchers hope to develop soon a seedless variety of the soft-scented, juicy fruit.

Grown primarily in the plains of Punjab province of the country, Kinno was first developed by H.B. Frost at the University of California at Riverside in 1935 by cross-pollinating the King and the Willow-Leaf varieties of mandarin, according to Handbook of Fruits and Fruit Processing (Wiley, John and Sons. 2006)

Pakistani Kinno is grown under totally natural conditions. The fruit is sun-ripened on the trees and carefully hand picked at precisely the right time, Dr. Babar Ahmed Bajwa, manager technical Pakistan Horticulture Development Board told this agency.
“Pakistani Kinno is the best in taste and quality throughout the world and we are in the process to develop its seedless variety,” he added. Babar said work on seedless variety was underway at National Institution of Agriculture and Biology Faislabad in collaboration with Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission. He said every year Kinno exports bring precious foreign exchange and “we hope the seedless variety will boost it further,” he said. The expert said this year’s Kinno exports would amount to 160,000 metric tonnes, less than last year’s 240,000 metric tonnes. The main cause of decline in export this year was low production of the fruit, which he said, was a natural phenomenon as produce of trees varies from year to year. Iran, Russia, Ukraine, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and East Europe are the largest export markets for Pakistani Kinno. However, according to Chaudhry M. Arshad, Chairman Pakistan Kinno Growers, Suppliers and Exporters Association there was more room for Pakistani Kinno in Europe and Iran. Kinno orchards in Pakistan are mainly located in Sargodha, Mianwali, Multan, Khushab, Mandi Bahauddin, Jhang, Toba Tek Singh, Liya and Bhalwal districts of Punjab. The Kinno season in Pakistan starts in mid-November and extends normally up to April. He said other varieties of orange including malta, musambi and fruiter only contribute 25 percent of the total production of citrus fruit. After plucking the fruit, the next step is processing. “For processing we select quality Kinnos, which are meant for export. These Kinnos are washed, waxed and treated with anti-fungus medicines. This keeps the Kinnos fresh upto two months,” said Haji M. Azeem, president Pakistan Kinno Processors and Growers Association. He said at present there were around 200 Kinno processing units in the country, most established quite recently. “These units contribute a lot in enhancing the quality of Kinno for export purposes.” “As far as the demand of Kinno in the country is concerned it is not only a much produced fruit but also much consumed,” claimed Haji Aleem, president Fruit Merchants Association at Islamabad’s biggest fruit market in sector I-11.

He said around 35-40 truckloads of Kinno, each of 10 metric tonnes, arrive everyday in the market during the season and sold to consumers in different markets and weekly bazaars in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad.


Publication date: 3/17/2009


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