1- AN INTERVIEW WITH MANAGING DIRECTOR, KSEW
2- THE PROBLEMS OF SUGAR INDUSTRY
3- PAK-US TRADE
4- DATES: CHIEF OF ALL FRUITS IN THE WORLD
5- SPRINKLE IRRIGATION IN PAKISTAN
6- APPLE: THE SWEET GOLD OF PAKISTAN

 

APPLE: THE SWEET GOLD OF PAKISTAN

 

 

By S. ASIF ALI BOKHARI, Director, EPB
Dec 02 - 15, 2002

 

Apple, an important fruit of temperate climate, is very popular the world over. It was cultivated in Greece around 600 BC or earlier. During the time a number of wild varieties were known. Those varieties were perhaps spread by animals into Europe before much cultivation was practiced.

It is apt to write that "an apple a day keeps the Doctor away" and also add to it keeps the old-age away. It is a highly nutritive fruit containing essential food elements such as sugar 11%, fat 0.4%, protein 0.3%, carbohydrates 14.9% and vitamins C, A & B in a balanced form. In America and Europe it is considered as a bottle of vitamins. It ranks third in consumption after citrus and banana and is almost available throughout the year.

WORLD APPLE SITUATION

Apple production by the world's leading producing countries in marketing year 2000-01 forecasted a record 48.9 million tons, 4 per cent above last year's output. Apple crops are larger in main producing countries, such as China, the United States, Italy, Argentina, and Chile. Apple exports in 2000-01 forecasted at 4.5 million tons, practically unchanged from 1997/98 shipments. U.S. apple exports in 2000-01, on the other hand, forecasted at 690,000 tons, 21 per cent above the previous forecast and 18 per cent above last season's shipments. A larger Washington state apple crop, some stabilization in the economy of major customers, and lower export prices are boosting U.S. apple shipments this season, mainly from the Pacific Northwest.

NORTHERN HEMISPHERE

Apple production increase in 2000-01

Total apple production in selected Northern Hemisphere countries in 2000-01 was forecasted at 45.4 million metric tons, up 4.5 per cent from the previous year's output. Larger apple crops are expected in some major producing Northern Hemisphere countries, such as China, the United States, Italy, and Germany.

The U.S. apple production forecasted for marketing year 2000-01 July-June) has been revised down slightly to 5.0 million metric tons, but is still 6 per cent above last season's output. Apple production in Washington state, the largest U.S. apple producer, was to the tune of a record 2.7 million tons, up 20 per cent from last season. Washington State alone accounted for 55 per cent of the total U.S. apple crop in 2000-01.

Apple exports in 2000-01 forecasted 4% down from the previous season's shipments

Apple exports from selected countries in the Northern Hemisphere in 2000-01 totalled at 3.1 million tons, down 4 per cent from last season's shipments. Lower exportable supplies in the EU will more than offset improved export prospects for the United States.

SOUTHERN HEMISPHERE

Southern Hemisphere apple crop larger in 2000-01

Apple production in selected countries of the Southern Hemisphere forecasted at 4.8 million tons, up 4 per cent from last season's output. Larger crops are expected in the principal southern producing countries of Chile and Argentina.

Chilean apple production in 2000-01 was record 1.4 million tons, 4.2 per cent above Other 1998-99 output. An increase in the number of bearing trees combined with the end of some very dry seasons has boosted Chile's apple production in recent years. Red apple varieties account for about 70 per cent of total output and are mainly for the European and Middle East markets. The principal green variety, Granny Smith, is used both for the fresh export (mainly Europe and the United States) as well as for concentrated apple juice production.

Argentine apple production in 2000-01 was 1.5 million tons, 7.2 per cent above the 1998-99 output, due to good climatic conditions. Argentina's apple production is located in Rio Negro (75 per cent), Neuquen (15 per cent), and Mendoza (10 per cent).

Southern Hemisphere apple exports increased slightly in 2000-01

Apple exports from selected countries in the Southern Hemisphere in 2000-01 were 4.5 million tons, 1 per cent above earlier season's shipments. The two largest apple exporters in Southern Hemisphere, Chile and New Zealand, are expected to expand exports.

Chile's apple exports in 2000-01 were at 580,000 tons, up 10 per cent from the previous season. Red apple varieties account for about two thirds of Chile's apple sales overseas, although the share of sweet/sour varieties is increasing.

New Zealand's apple exports in 2000-01 stood at 320,000 tons, up sharply from shipments in 1998- 99. Although volumes remain small, exports of organically grown apples are expected to gradually increase as growers are attracted by the high export premiums available for such fruit. The United States, Canada, and the EU are New Zealand's major apple customers.

MAJOR IMPORTERS

Major importing countries / areas of fruit and vegetable juices are United States, Germany, U.S, Netherlands, France, Canada, Japan, Luxembourg, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, South Korea, Denmark and Australia etc.

EXPORT POTENTIAL IN SURROUNDING MARKETS

The export potential also exists for our fruit and vegetable juices and preserves in some of Pakistan's surrounding markets like Bahrain, Bangladesh, Dubai, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Singapore & Hong Kong.

STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPING EXPORTS

Any strategy for promotion of export of fruit and vegetable juices/preserves to foreign markets must start with an intense publicity campaign through television, leaflets and other media highlighting the characteristics of the products. This publicity campaign is preferably essential in the language spoken in the exporting country to attract the consumers.

EXPORT PROSPECTS

A comparison of the international market with that of Pakistan reveals that there is great potential for export growth of fruit and vegetable juices/preserves provided some special concessions are allowed to this industry to flourish. For example, two major inputs, viz sugar and packing material be made available to the processing units on special concessional prices as compared to the existing exorbitant rates. Besides, packing material for export of fruit and vegetable juices and pulp without the addition of any preservative may be made available free of duties and taxes. It is only then that exports can be substantially increased and a good amount of foreign exchange earned.

PRODUCTION/EXPORT CONSTRAINTS

There are a number of constraints hampering production and export growth of fruit processing industry. These are indicated below:

i-

Quality of products is below standard.

ii-

Sub-standard packing and no further improvement to attract the consumer.

iii-

High price of sugar and packing material in the local market.

iv-

High sea freights.

v-

Irregular shipping facility.

vi-

Inadequate publicity.

In Pakistan, apples have been grown as Commercial Fruit Plants in Balochistan and N.W.F.P., since long. Because of its attractive income, apple plantation was taken up by the growers in Swat, Dir, Mansehra, Parachinar, Chitral, Hunza, North and South Waziristan Agencies.

District Swat covers an area of approximately 4000 square miles within the Malakand Division. The area is mainly a river valley surrounded by mountains, which also have fertile valleys feedings into the main Swat Plain. District Swat is the most important of all the apple producing districts of N.W.F.P. Next in importance come the districts of Mansehra, Dir, Abbottabad, Chitral and Hunza.

Table-1
TOTAL AREA OF APPLES UNDER CULTIVATION
(AREA "000" HECTORS)

Year

Punjab

Sindh

NWFP

Balochistan

Pakistan

1995-96

0.3

0.1

8.0

33.4

41.8

1996-97

0.3

0.1

8.1

35.0

43.5

1997-98

0.3

0.1

9.2

37.0

46.6

1998-99

0.3

0.1

11.0

40.0

51.4

1999-00

0.3

0.1

12.0

42.0

53.4

The table-1 shows that there is steady increase in the area being cultivated for apples in Balochistan and N.W.F.P. only, while in the remaining two provinces i.e. Punjab and Sindh its cultivation is almost stagnant.

Pakistan produced about 600,000 metric tones of apples during 1999- 00 (estimated figures) and share of Balochistan is about 60% and N.W.F.P. is 25% of the total produce. The remaining 15% is being produced in Punjab and Sindh. (see table 2)

Table-2
PRODUCTION OF APPLES IN PAKISTAN (PRODUCTION "000" TONS)

Year

Punjab

Sindh

NWFP

Balochistan

Pakistan

1995-96

2.3

0.2

85.0

466.0

553.5

1996-97

2.3

0.2

85.7

480.2

568.5

1997-98

2.4

0.3

86.5

492.5

581.7

1998-99

2.4

0.3

90.0

505.0

597.7

1999-00

2.5

0.4

100.0

600.0

702.9

 


 

Table 3
MAJOR PRODUCING COUNTRIES OF APPLES

Country Name

Quantity (M. tonnes)

China

17,508,251

U.S.A.

04,963,900

France

02,500,000

Turkey

02,500,000

Germany

02,154,180

Italy

02,115,470

Iran

02,000,000

Argentina

01,347,315

India

01,300,000

Chile

880,000

Pakistan

600,000

South Africa

515,000

New Zealand

500,000

Netherlands

470,000

Belgium - Luxembourg

413,230

Australia

360,000

Total:-

26,127,346

The table-3 shows total world Production of apples which is 26,127,346 M. Tonnes. China is on top, U.S.A. second, France third, Turkey fourth, Germany fifth, Italy sixth, Iran seventh and so on. Pakistan's share in the world production is at number eleven.

Table-4
MAJOR EXPORTERS OF APPLE

Country

Qty (M. tonnes)

Value (000$)

Aup ($/Kg)

France

830,796

539,538

0.649

U.S.A.

680,249

420,329

0.618

Italy

512,999

273,674

0.533

Chile

411,493

189,581

0.461

Netherlands

296,988

183,635

0.618

New Zealand

286,769

235,308

0.821

Belgium

276,294

204,026

0.738

Argentina

229,854

129,148

0.562

South Africa

199,800

102,623

0.514

Australia

36,506

25,449

0.697

Iran

190,000

30,000

0.158

India

13,216

3,798

0.287

Turkey

47,581

27,231

0.5

Total

2,364,340

 


 

Table-5
EXPORT OF FRESH APPLES

Apples fresh   Quantity in '000' kg.
Value in'000'dollars
 

July-June 2001-02

July-June 2000-01

July-June
1999-00

Countries

Qty

Value

Qty

Value

Qty

Value

Sri Lanka

709

235

1,150

362

3,939

1,242

Bangladesh

35

13

214

60

-

-

Italy

44

40

-

4

-

-

Asian Countries

25

8

-

-

-

-

N.S.

           

Others

5

3

111

28

82

38

Total

818

299

1,475

454

4,021

1,280

The table-4 and 5 shows total world export of apples is 2,364,340 (000$). In apple export France is No.1, U.S.A. is No.2, Italy is No.3, Chile is No.4, Netherlands is No.5, New Zealand is No.6 and so on and so forth.

E.P.B'S PROMOTIONAL EFFORTS

Export Promotion Bureau has been making concerted efforts to promote the export of non-traditional items, with the objective to diversifying the country's exports. Accordingly, the Bureau started organizing an apple show at Quetta in 1994. These shows have generated lot of interest among the growers and exporters of apples, the exports of apples has picked up from almost zero in 1994-95 to about 6000 metric tonnes during 1999-2000.

The Show aim at bringing together progressive apple growers, horticulturists, active exporters and foreign buyers with a view to introduce apples of N.W.F.P., besides identifying measures for boosting export of apples specifically from N.W.F.P. Various varieties of apples which are being grown in this province displayed during the show namely; Top Red, Red Spur, Kala Kulu, Super Gold, Red Chief, Apple Elite, Stark Crimson, Oregon Spur, Red Rom Beauty, Royal Gala, Spartan and Double Red etc.

The objective of the present government is to revive the economy to reduce inflation and provide job opportunities through development and expansion of industrial mining and the agricultural sector. All these measures have to be taken keeping in view the technological advances and to meet the requirements of the world market for our products.

The present trade policy has been formulated with the over all framework of the agenda of the Chief Executive of Pakistan to achieve economic development.

The government wanted to strengthen the export base and to move towards higher value added exports. For this the government has given lot of incentives to the agriculture sector, due to which there is 4.3% increase in the agricultural production, especially in fruits and vegetables.

The table shows that our total export of Fresh Apples during 1999-2000 is of the value of US$1.3 million as compared to US$1.2 million during 1998-99, showing an increase of 8.3%.

To the perishable cargo, special one window handling facilities in the initial stage at Karachi and Multan airports will be provided. Government is also considering to provide air cargo facilities for the export of perishable items, especially apples, mangoes, dates at Quetta, Multan and Peshawar airport.

In order to exploit the export potential of N.W.F.P. and to acquaint the people of this region with the export trend Export Promotion Bureau has been regularly organizing seminars in N.W.F.P. to disseminate basic information of modern concept of international trade and guide the businessmen to enter into the export market.

STRATEGIES FOR DEVELOPING FRESH PRODUCE EXPORTS

If we really want to increase the export of fresh fruits, the following problems and their remedial measures are suggested.

i) Produce quality needs to be improved at producer level by:

- Improvement in varieties and plants.
- Improvement in irrigation techniques.
- Improvement in farmer product knowledge.
- Improvement in government advice systems.
- Controls on the usage of fertilizers and sprays.

ii) Product presentation needs to be improved by:

- Better care at harvesting.
- Grading facilities.
- Washing and waxing facilities.
- Cooling (field heat pull down, transportation storage).
- Packing on or near production site.
- Better packing materials and boxes
- Better lable and box printing.
- Palletizing and netting for stability.
- Educating staff in produce handling techniques.

iii) Transport improvements are required in terms of:

- Internal systems (road, rail) including reefer trucks.
- Better utilization of available air freight space
- Better airport storage and handling.
- Increase in exports by reefer sea freight.

iv) Exporters must accept:

- Investment in packing and cooling facilities as well as grading and labour training.
- Procurement direct at production source and not through wholesale markets.
- Contractual supply arrangements in order to provide incentives for improved production.
- Need to cooperate with each other and with the Government.
- Need to develop internal quality control systems.