‘Pakistan’s Kinnow Exports Could Increase By 40pc If Iran Lifts Ban’
Pakistan produces 2.1 metric tons of kinnows, but the loss is faced by exporters as the fruit is only exported to 10 countries.
According to the National Assembly subcommittee, Pakistan’s contribution to the $14.8 billion global citrus market is just $177 million. This number could, however, be increased if the government of Iran lifts ban off of import of kinnow.
The All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association (APFVEA) informed a subcommittee of the National Assembly Special Committee on Agricultural Products on Thursday.
PTI MNA Syed Fakhar Imam was supposed to supervise this meeting, but he ended up chairing the National Assembly session, so this meeting was chaired by MNA Malik Mohammad Ehsanullah Tiwana.
APFVEA representative, in the meeting, told the parliamentarians that Pakistan produces 2.1 metric tons of kinnows, but the loss is faced by exporters as the fruit is only exported to 10 countries. Around 60 to 70pc of diseases affect kinnows and other fruits belonging to the citrus family.
‘’There are a number of varieties across the globe, but we only have one variety of kinnow. Russia is the biggest market and if issues related to duty valuation are addressed by the government we can increase exports. Iran is the second biggest market, but we cannot export kinnows due to a ban impoed by Iran’’, the representative said.
The association has asked the export duties to be withdrawn, so kinnow exporters do not have to face any loss. Also, demand for interest-free loans for farmers has been put forth, as this will encourage farmers to farm and produce more kinnows.
Aviation Minister Ghulam Sarwar Khan said that it was unfortunate that no one was carrying out research in the citrus field. Mr. Khan belongs to Taxila, the city is known for its varieties of citrus.
‘’Research needs to be done’’, he said.
‘’We are in the year 2020 but still, varieties from 2008 and 2013 are being suggested to farmers’’, the minister added.
He further said that farmers had stopped planting citrus fruits and switched over to lychee and peach. He suggested measures to increase citrus production, and research should be done to introduce new varieties, warning that if these steps weren’t taken then Pakistan will be unable to compete with other countries.
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