KARACHI: A body of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) has emphasized that Pakistan should focus on producing seedless kinnow and other citrus along with using more value-adding methods to grab a significant share in the international fruit market especially in European countries.

Chairman of FPCCI Standing Committee on Horticulture Exports, Ahmad Jawad, in a statement here on Monday, mentioned that the demand for Pakistani kinnow had declined in overseas markets after India, Turkey and Egypt started producing seedless kinnow/citrus.

“The demand for seedless kinnow remains high in the world; especially in the West. Unfortunately, Pakistan does not produce seedless kinnow yet,” he added.

He urged Pakistani farmers to start growing seedless kinnow production in their orchards so that exporters could be able to penetrate well in the European markets. For the existing markets as well, we will be in position to introduce new variety for the buyers that will fetch good prices. Ahmad Jawad said dollars 15 billion worth citrus varieties and its value added products were in international market. Pakistan by introducing other varieties of kinnow could earn more than dollars one billion every year as its fruit exports proceeds, he argued. Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) had already introduced two new varieties of citrus, which were required to be planted at production hubs on priority. For this purpose, he advised, the government should activate the Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC) so that necessary collaboration might took place with the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC) and with the Punjab government.

He said the export season for Pakistani Kinnow was about to commence. There was less production, but due to improved weather conditions the quality was better than that of last year. The export season was expected to start on November 25, which was a week earlier than usual. The estimate production of kinnow this year was 1.4 million tons. This earlier start would provide with more export possibilities to Russian markets especially. One week early would make a big difference for logistics arrangement and fruit would arrive right in time for holidays in these markets.

He said the season usually lasts till April, but it was too early to predict. There were several factors that influence the length of the season, like weather conditions, the demand of markets in neighboring countries like China, Afghanistan and Central Asian Republics which have also demand on their local holidays like Chinese New Year and Persian New Year.

Ahmed Jawad mentioned that last year Pakistani kinnow season was boosted by the Russian market. This year, however, Russia had lifted its trade ban on Turkish products. Thus, there was a possibility that we might face competition but if we control on packing and quality we would fetch good numbers.

FPCCI body head said that similarly as soon as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was completed, more trade with China would be possible. And in fruits exports, kinnow would be in a position to penetrate well for China especially on the occasion of Chinese New year.

He also urged that Pakistani embassy in Beijing to conduct kinnow festival on the Chinese New Year in different cities of China, because Chinese gave too much importance to oranges due to their religious factor as well.

Byline: Parvez Jabri

Source: APP

November 14, 2016

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