KARACHI: The export of Kinnow is going to start from December 1, with better quality fruit despite an expected reduction of 15 percent in production this year.
Exporters said the country would be able to earn $200 million revenue with the set target of 350,000 tones of Kinnow for that season.
Waheed Ahmed, Patron-in-Chief of Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA), informed that Citrus Development Board, formed by the federal government, was the part of the proposals made by the association for improvement in production and exports.
“As the quality of Kinnow is expected to be comparatively better this year due to efforts made by the association and Ministry of Food Security and Research, the reduction in overall production will not affect the targeted revenue,” he added.
“The revenue through the export of citrus fruits could easily be enhanced to one billion dollar provided the government positively implements the proposals already shared with the ministries concerned by PFVA,” he said.
Waheed said Pakistani exporters would be facing stiff competition with exporters of Kinnow from Turkey and Morocco, where not only production but price of the fruit was lower than the same from Pakistan, thus creating a challenge for Pakistan’s Kinnow in various traditional markets like Philippine, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Canada, United Kingdom and Middle Eastern countries including Emirates.
“However we are trying our best to not only contain the existing traditional markets but also explore new destinations for the fruits. The approval of various facilitation centres and export firms by Chinese quarantine experts was part of the drive initiated by PFVA to tap new markets,” he added.
PFVA would try its best to start export of Kinnow to China that year and China could be lucrative market for Pakistani Kinnow keeping in view the expected cut in cost of exports under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, he mentioned.
He said another challenge posed to exporters was to export the fruit to world’s largest market in Russia where Pakistani Kinnow was facing massive duties due to higher valuation by Moscow Customs. Under the present valuation, Pakistan might hardly compete with other countries comparatively paying less duty in Russia, he added.
Waheed informed that the association and ministries of Finance and Commerce were trying to resolve the issue at diplomatic front aimed at getting more foreign exchange for the country.
Unfortunately, due to Iran’s reluctance for issuing import permits, Pakistan is unable to tap the huge market of over 80,000 tones in the neighboring country. Last year Tehran had not issued any import permit for Pakistani Kinnow. Ministry of Commerce and other authorities should also take up that issue with Iran to open the market for Pakistani fruit, he concluded.