Pakistan: Fruit and vegetable exporters suffer millions loss in 9 days

The goods transport carriers’ strike has caused a loss of $15 million to the fruit and vegetable exporters in the country within nine days. The exporters were unable to meet their commitments made with various countries across the globe. Some 1,200 containers, 700 loaded with kinnow and 500 with onion, owing to non-availability of any kind of transport, were stuck up at godowns of exporters for the last few days and being perishable items, they will decay if not exported forthwith.

According to All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Importers and Exporters Association Chairman Waheed Ahmad, the situation has assumed such a critical dimension by lingering transporters strike, that more than 250 kinnow processing factories in Sargodha were facing imminent closure if the government does not ensure an immediate remedial measure. Owing to piling up of large quantities of the citrus fruit at orchards and processing factories, their owners can hardly manage their proper storage and are unable to sustain financial losses.

Kinnow is a perishable item, which has a short life out of cold storage and the continuation of the transporters strike may also spell devastating consequences for the farmers and growers of the fruit. Responding to a query he said that recently Sri Lanka had revised downward imported rates on Pakistani fruits and vegetables products by a margin of Rs 35 per kilogramme, providing an adequate opportunity for Pakistani exporters to accrue advantage of the emerging situation. Recently Pakistani exporters received $2 million worth of potato orders from Sri Lanka but owing to delayed response caused by the ongoing transporters strike, the orders were snatched by Indian exporters while the country had also stopped placing new orders for Pakistani onion, which can be termed as a major setback. The previous export orders of onion were yet to be fulfilled, which is casting a poor image of the country among international buyers as the government appears not to be bothered about sorting out this issue. Questioning the logic of the transporters to be allowed to carry heavier goods to Karachi from upcountry, he stated that prevailing condition of highways across the country lacked required strength to handle heavier weight, which might also pose damage to the heavy goods carriers.


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