Horticulture experts have linked growth of the kinnow industry to the removal of middleman saying that exports of the citrus fruit could be enhanced manifold provided the farmers are provided direct benefit.
At present Pakistan is among the top 10 citrus growing countries in the world and the world export market for horticulture products is about $80 billion, in which Pakistan’s share is not up to mark.The kinnow exports reached to $100 million in the fiscal year 2010-11,” Chief Executive Officer Harvest Tradings Ahmad Jawad said adding that the exports could be enhanced by strengthening input from farmers.
“The exports can be increased further if all the stake holders remove the role of middleman and strengthen the farmer input who is the real stakeholder of this emerging industry,” Jawad told APP.
Giving details about the citrus exports, Ahmad Jawad said about 200,000 metric tones of kinnow were exported during 2005-06, showing more than a 100 percent increment over the previous year’s exports.In 2008-09, the kinnow exports were recorded at 177 million kilograms that climbed to 361 million kgs in 2009-10 earning $45.5 million in 2008-09 and $97.8 million in 2009-10.
The exports reached to $100 million in 2010-11, Jawad added.
Kinnow is known as a special variety of citrus fruit and due to unique climatic conditions it is grown in Pakistan, he said adding it has tremendous potential of export to many countries.The CEO Harvest Tradings said so far Kinnow has already been introduced in more than 25 countries of the world adding its exports can further be increased by manifold if modern marketing techniques are applied.
The fruit is among the main exportable horticulture commodities from Pakistan.
Annual production of citrus on an average is estimated about 2 million-ton, of which 90 percent are kinnow, and export also reached to 360,625 tonnes.Pakistan exports to Gulf States, Saudi Arabia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and CIS that are been supposed as traditional markets from many years.
East Europe, Iran, Indonesia and China are emerging markets, he said adding the export to Russian Federation reached 31,000 tonnes, Ukraine 5,000 tonnes and Iran 22,000 tonnes.The World Trade Organisation (WTO) requirements of exports urge for strict compliance with international quality and health safety standards.
WTO also required best agricultural practices and dedicated production for specific markets both in terms of timely availability in particular tastes, size and colour.
“Therefore, the producers and processors need to upgrade their capacities and facilities to produce fruits of international standard, which is essential,” Jawad added.He said that the tax relief and other support measures announced by the government over the past years in support of the horticulture crop production and agro industry development would also help to improve the competitiveness of the product and would fetch better prices but needs to continue. He said that the government should declare horticulture as a priority sector and make efforts to improve the value chain and identifying new markets.
The provision of effective infrastructure such as dry ports, export zones, transportation hubs, etc is essential for the export growth, he said adding cold storage facilities are also basic need for cost effective marketing of perishable products, as they reduce post harvest losses and minimised health risks.
Cold storage facilities increase the shelf life of the product to make products available for longer time at selling stores.