Citrus growers have rejected the rates of Rs600/40kg fixed by the fruit exporters and processing plant owners to purchase their produce for the coming season 2019/20, an official said on Wednesday.
Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Standing Committee on Horticulture Exports former chairman and Businessmen Panel Secretary General (Federal) Ahmad Jawad said that the growers have demanded the authorities concerned to address farmers' grievances and announce reasonable rates for kinnow.
Last year, kinnow price was set at Rs850/40kg and termed this year’s rates of Rs600 unjustifiable, as the prices of DAP, potash and urea have gone up compared with the last year, he said, adding that the price of diesel has also increased to Rs133/litre.
“In the previous government’s tenure, urea and DAP prices were Rs1,200 and Rs2,380/bag, respectively, and, at present, urea and DAP prices have reached Rs1,925 and Rs3,395/bag, respectively, whereas the price of potash has touched Rs4,200,” Jawad said.
There was mistrust between exporters and growers on the ground. The growers felt that exporters cut their share and export product on higher prices.
He urged the government to take up the matter, so that maximum export target could be achieved and also advised exporters to consult growers before deciding the rates. There is a need to identify the growers, prepare a database and develop a platform involving the growers, exporters and traders for addressing their grievances, he said.
Jawad suggested introduction of awareness campaigns about field practices, harvest and post-harvest handling, transportation and processing through an integrated and coordinated programme involving all the stakeholders.
Punjab produces over 98 percent of the fruit mainly in Sargodha district because of its favourable growing conditions and adequate canal and subsoil water. Kinnow constitutes 80 percent of the citrus fruit and is a major export commodity.
Citrus Research Institute Sargodha is responsible for undertaking research and development work on kinnow and other citrus varieties, besides PARC.