Jawad: Downtrend in kinnow exports matter of concern

F.P. Report

ISLAMABAD: Vice President of Pakistan Businesses Forum and former chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Agriculture, Ahmad Jawad has expressed concerns over downtrend in kinnow exports and said processing units are working at 50% output

In a statement issued on Friday, he said that slowdown of kinnow exports was mainly due to lack of acceptance in Afghanistan and Iran market through land route.

He said, during previous seasons, Pakistani kinnow mostly routed through Afghanistan for CIS states, but this time the acceptability is less.

He expressed fear if the situation prevails till the end of season, kinnow exports target could drop to 70,000 tons.

The former chairman FPCCI Standing Committee on Agriculture said, “Total production of kinnow is around 2.1 million tons, however, the production of quality exportable kinnow is appropriate. The country’s kinnow industry $781 million and the entire economy of Bhalwal and Sargodha districts of Punjab depends on kinnow cultivation. Some 250 kinnow processing facilities in the region provide direct employment to 250,000 people.”

He said that Iran is the second largest market for kinnow export. If it opens timely the export of product will increase by 40% but our previous efforts in this regard put in vain which we did.

PBF official urged the Iranian government to allow kinnow exports from 1st February for the period of two months or through barter trade.

Jawad highlighted that India had also started the production of kinnow from the last three to four years which will be a threat to Pakistan in the international market.

Apart from the structural flaws in our horticulture sector the ongoing weaker rupee and high-inflation phenomenon is also playing havoc, Ahmad Jawad added.

He said, the cost of growing fruits and vegetables has been on the rise after substantial rupee depreciation in the past year and headline inflation now scaling new heights every month. Increased cost of inputs is also making it difficult for fruit and vegetable exporters to remain competitive in international markets; he added.