ISLAMABAD: Chief Executive Officer Harvest Tradings, Ahmad Jawad on Thursday maintained that Pakistan, a major kinnow producer is still lagging behind in modern techniques when it comes to enhancing the value of citrus exports.
In a statement here, he said this year witnessed less crop with production of kinnows went up to 1.8 million tons and the export target was hardly fixed at 200,000 tons in 2012-13. On this small target, kinnow export faced drastic issues in three accounts which includes again loss of Iranian market, strike by goods transporters in the month of December and imposition of GRI levy by the shipping lines of 1,500 dollars per 40 feet container.
He said Kinnow season left with one month only and it was obvious that we could not expect any benchmark and export target might be closed around 160,000 tons. Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC), which is mandated to promote, regulate, co-ordinate and enhance the export of horticulture products, has in the last few years, nothing to display in the field of exploration of new markets and formulation of pragmatic policies for Kinnow exports, he claimed.
He said if we take a look on international markets, in the past Iran has been a large buyer of Pakistani kinnows. It used to import around 60-70,000 tones of the fruit but due to international sanctions, we are going to close this market permanently.
The Indonesia, who has enjoyed free access to the Pakistan market for many items, including palm oil, for the past six years has stop entry of our fresh produce to the Port of Jakarta. In result, all Pakistani produce exports to the country must instead go via Surabaya City, Indonesia from where it is shipped over land at an additional cost of $2500, he added.
He said we must recall in mind Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) singed by Pakistan and Indonesia recently to enhance trade activities and exporters had expected the unhindered market access for kinnow export with a volume of 50,000 tons this season, but couldn’t fulfilled .
He said UAE and Saudi Arabia always welcome Pakistani kinnow but the sale of these markets depends on Demand and Supply basis. Currently, he said, in Jeddah the price of our kinnow is cheaper as compared to local market price.
The Netherlands, Oman, Sri Lanka, Kuwait etc, consume small volumes which is not enough to achieve target, he said. It is a situation of “now or never” whether the government provides incentives to the private sector with proper infrastructure or takes this industry towards disaster, he stated.