Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan has announced that Pakistan’s fruit exporters can target two new international markets – the Philippines and China – this year for citrus shipments.
The minister stated: “We have best farmers and agriculture marketing experts, but ironically we could not achieve desired results. There is a lack of administration or management for channelling those resources.”
He voiced hope that food experts and economists could work out a viable solution for self-reliance in food, adding that Pakistan could access lucrative international markets through quality exports: “Punjab has an exclusive position internationally in the production of agricultural crops; kinnow is our pride and […] is exported to 58 countries across the world.”
He expected about 20% increase in citrus exports from Pakistan in the current season. Last year, the country exported 30,000 tons of kinnow to Indonesia – the second largest market after Russia.
The minister also pointed to the many challenges Pakistan was facing internationally, particularly in dealing with the European Union and developed countries, which were erecting barriers in the way of exports of agricultural goods. The US, Australia, Japan, South Korea and even a few Central Asian countries are not importing Pakistani kinnow anymore and those who are importing are not paying attractive prices.