Pakistan has achieved a new record by exporting 460000 metric tons of Kinnow during the export season of Kinnow in the year 2020-21 , being the highest export volume in the country’s history. During the global Pandemic COVID-19 , the demand of kinnow surged significantly as it played a vital role in strengthening the human immunity system safeguarding against the deadly disease. During the export season concluded in April 2021, Pakistan exported 460000 ton Kinnow to forty countries globally, which was 30% higher compared to the last year’s export volume of 353000 tons. Pakistan earned valuable foreign exchange of USD 253 million through export of kinnow.
According to Waheed Ahmed, Patron-in-Chief, All Pakistan Exporters, Importers & Merchants Association (PFVA), the Ministry of Commerce (MoC) and in particular due to extensive assistance & timely decisions by the Advisor to the Premier Abdul Razzak Dawood, Pakistan witnessed a new record export of Kinnow, being the highest volume in the export history of Kinnow. Though the export target of Kinnow for year 2020-21 was 350000 tons, expected to fetch USD 210 million for the country but due to the commendable efforts and extensive assistance by the GoP, the country attained higher export volume against the anticipated export target.
Despite record export of Kinnow, the exporters sustained huge financial losses since the exports’ orders materialized at the exchange rate of one USD equivalent to PKR 168 while by the time payment was to be made to the exporters, the rupee attained stability against the USD and stood at exchange rate of USD I = PKR 153. Keeping this fact in view, the exporters had a clear option to contain the export volume of Kinnow instead of sustaining huge financial losses, however due to deplorable state of country’s economy, the exporters kept supreme interest of the country above on their own interest with a view to fetch much needed foreign exchange for the country – Waheed Ahmed proudly stated. Pakistani Kinnow could not get fair price due to lockdown in International markets while disproportionate increase in the cost of freight further multiplied the huge financial losses significantly, the highest loss was sustained in the Russian market – Waheed Ahmed deplored. The export consignments of Kinnow could not reach to the International export markets due to lockdown & problems in transportation leading to quality issue of the consignments , while numerous export consignments simultaneously reaching to many International markets due to issues of logistic support ultimately resulted in damping , thus even cost of the exports’ shipments could not be recovered and the exporters sustained huge losses , the Russian market being the worst in terms of enormous losses .
The Kinnow exporters shall be extended support by the GoP who despite paying fair price to the growers according to the quality of Kinnow sustained huge losses and if the serious issue of , the exporters are confronted with is not addressed, the years to follow is likely to witness negative impact on export of fruits & vegetables from Pakistan besides badly affecting the growers as well – Waheed Ahmed emphasized.
At the time of stiff challenges to the export by Air & Sea , the MoC rendered all possible assistance to the exporters and responded promptly, more than often resolving the issue being a barrier to the export in less than 48 hours as and when requested by the PFVA and thus the credit of this brilliant achievement of an ever highest export volume of Kinnow goes to the commendable efforts by the MoC, in particular to Abdul Razzak Dawood , the Advisor to the Premier – Waheed Ahmed acknowledged.
Recalling the tough days, Waheed Ahmed stated that during the COVID-19 pandemic, export of Kinnow was suspended to Afghanistan & Iran due to closure of borders, however on appeal of the PFVA the MoC & Ministry of Interior played an active role, facilitating the export of Kinnow on priority basis as soon as the borders were re-opened. Likewise, due to the keen interest & timely initiative of the MoC, the national Airline also facilitated export of fruits and vegetables. The PFVA also exported Kinnow to the UK after a long gap of seven years as the UK exited from the European Union. It was again the initiative and sincere efforts by the Advisor to the Primer Abdul Razzak Dawood , playing a vital role in removal of a barrier of the CESS (a sort of an exceptional heavy import duty imposed by the Sri Lanka on Pakistani Kinnow) which was brought to his attention by the PFVA, enabling exporters to compete comfortably in the Sri Lankan market.
Waheed Ahmed also acknowledged strenuous efforts made by the Ministry of National Food Security & Research (MNFSR) & the Department of Plant Protection (DPP) for ensuring timely issuance of the Phyto-certificates during lockdown and permitting smooth movement of exports’ consignment by reducing time of inspection. The DPP by enabling easy procurement of the Phyto-certificates facilitated the exporters and made it possible to go “beyond export target” achievement – Waheed Ahmed praised
It was a remarkable success achieved by the Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi during his recent visit to Iran in getting consent of the Iranian Govt. to withdraw ban on export of Pakistani Kinnow which would further enhance export of Kinnow in future as this market can accommodate export volume of more than 80,000 tons – Waheed Ahmed acclaimed
Waheed Ahmed shared that the volume of Pakistani Kinnow Industry is Rs. 125 billion while the industry of Citrus fruits faces numerous stiff challenges which includes – outdated orchards having less resistance against various diseases, low quality seeds, problems of poor cosmetic look, limited varieties besides short export window season of three to four months. The Horticulture vision -2030 (HV-2030) of PFVA highlights comprehensive strategy and spells out medium term policy, placing high emphasis on uplift of Kinnow by eliminating diseases from the existing varieties & development of new varieties with high yield per acre through research & development. The existing export of Pakistani Kinnow can be enhanced to USD one billion within a few years by effective implementation of the policy highlighted in the Horticulture Vision. The Federal Govt. has fully agreed to the HV-2030 and in light of this policy the GoP has already initiated practical steps which would lead to an improvement in quality of fruits and high yield resulting in further multiplication of exports of this sector in years to follow.
All the concerned departments, Customs, Sea ports authorities, Quarantine department (DPP), MoC, MNFSR, Shipping and Logistic companies deserve appreciation for playing a very supportive role enabling the PFVA to attain the highest export volume of kinnow – Waheed Ahmed paid rich tribute. He strongly anticipated that this splendid team work and joint action would continue in future ensuring consistent growth of the Kinnow industry in future.