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Pakistan kinnow export to start 1st December

The Pakistan Government has fixed the date to export the kinnow for 1st Dec 2012. Pakistan is the sixth largest producer of kinnow (mandarin) and oranges in the world, with production of 2.1 million tons.According to an estimate approx. 95 percent of the total Kinnow produced all over the world is grown in Pakistan.

At present, there are more than 250 processing plants operating in Sargodha city and Bhalwal alone, working day and night to meet international demand. The orchards mostly belong to local farmers who, after foreseeing a potential in the local market, have invested there. The plants run on electricity but huge amounts of diesel are consumed to keep operations running during frequent power outages. The high cost of this diesel is borne by the owners of processing plants.

According to Abdul Malik, Union Fruit, there are many problems faced by the exporters such as roads filled with potholes that are only fit for tractors. These road conditions mean that a distance of a mere few kilometres takes half an hour to cover. Imagine a truck carrying a container of a kinnow moving at a snail’s pace. This not only increases the transport cost but also creates delay in the shipment.

Another major issue is electricity. The rates are so high that it makes it very difficult to compete in the international market. Power outages are a regular feature, during which factories are run on diesel. The non availability of natural gas is another big issue.

"Continuous improvement in the farm infrastructure and seed design is a must to maximize per acre yield and to produce pest immune fruit. But both are lacking in the full sense of the terms. Farmers themselves try to improve the produce but since they don’t have proper knowledge and awareness, the results are not as great.
Wastage of crop is another worrying factor. Presently 20% produce is wasted during plucking and another 10% during processing.

The issue of newer markets and reduction on quarantines need immediate government attentions. At present the Middle East and Far East are the primary markets. Russian quarantine has recently visited Kinnow growing areas and asked for the laboratory test reports with each shipment which will cost at least US $800 per container, since there is no other laboratory nominated by the Russian team in Pakistan."

The PTA (Professional Trade Agreement) was signed with Indonesia early this year but still no implementation date is fixed.

This year Sri Lanka and India may be tried as a regional markets due to crop destroyed by typhoon Nelaam in the Eastern part of these countries but Trade Barriers (NTB) still exist in these two countries.

"For now kinnow farming and its related industry requires immediate steps before it’s too late. The government needs to get the exporters, processors and most importantly, the farmers on board to address the situation, concludes Malik.

For more information:
Mr. Abdul Malik
Tel: 92 21 35891067
Mob: +92 333 2141796

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