KINNO: ONE OF THE SPECIALTIES OF CITRUS
Developed by Pakistani Horticulturists
Jan 21 - 27, 2008
Pakistan is one of the largest citrus producing countries of the world. Among citrus varieties, kinno contributes a lion's share (85 percent) in citrus fruit exports. Majority of the exporters use refrigerated containers. However, open top trucks are also used for transporting the fruit to Karachi port. The problems faced by the kinno exporters include low quality, storage facilities, non-availability of quality packing, poor transport facilities, high freight charges, weak roll of export promoting agencies and in-consistent government policies.
> Citrus is a prized fruit of Pakistan and holds first position amongst all fruits both in respect of area and production in the country. Fortunately, Pakistan is one of the top 15 citrus producing countries of the world.
> In the year, 2004 there was an average production of 1760.3 thousand tons from an area of 176.5 thousand hectares. So far as the share of Punjab is concerned, it is about 94 percent and 96 percent area-wise and production-wise respectively.
PROCESSING OF FRUIT:
The produce is brought to kinno processing factories in 20-kg and 40-kg buckets on
Mazda vans (small loader trucks. After unloading the fruit is dried, waxed and again dried, packed and labeled in the processing plant. All these operations are performed mechanically.
AWARENESS ABOUT WTO REQUIREMENTS:
WTO demands competitiveness, quality and free access. Presently we note no change in the export pattern. Export of a specific country depends upon its import policy.
LACK OF STORAGE FACILITIES:
Admittedly storage facilities in the area are poor in general as there are no commercially controlled atmosphere cold stores. There are a few factories for their own storage facilities and their capacity are very limited. Generally, exporters and traders store consignments in traditionally cold stores available in fruit markets. When there is gult in the market, kinnos are often thrown on the roads, which itself indicates the fact of our poor storage facilities.
Other problems relating to cold storage facilities are high rent and time poor quality of storage.
POOR TRANSPORTATION FACILITIES:
In Pakistan refrigerated containers are inadequate in number and are costly. It has been observed that only a few companies ensure the required temperature on containers, which is normally 4 degree centigrade during transportation of the produce but their fares are high. Moreover the temperature is not well maintained in the refrigerated containers, which affect the gradation and quality of the fruit.
HIGH FREIGHT CHARGES:
Foreign shipping companies' charges are very high, especially during the season. It increases the expenditures of exporters, which are hardly affordable for the small exporters or new entrants in the export business to pay and to continue the business.
WEAK ROLL OF EXPORT PROMOTING AGENCIES:
Many public agencies are involved in boosting the exports of the country but, disappointedly, they are not playing their active role as expected by exporters. Exporters need to be kept aware of the new markets and market needs in the international markets and in the WTO's requirements scenario.
INCONSISTENT GOVERNMENT POLICIES:
There are common complaints that the government policies are not consistent. Three years ago the government banned the export of fruit in wooden crates and now use of wooden boxes has been allowed again for export.
There is news that Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board (PHDEB) will be visiting Poland and Germany in the last week of February, 2008 to explore opportunities for export of Pakistani fruits especially Kinno.
In the first leg of the trip, PHDEB and exporters would stay in Poland for two days and visit different super and chain stores of that country to assess the market. This trip will include visits of wholesale markets and meetings with big importers and distributors of fruits.
Purpose of the second leg of the trip is arranging participation of the Pakistani companies and PHDEB in a fair in Germany called "Food Logitica'. PHDEB had leased a stall in the fair where kinno and other fruits and fruit products of the country would be exhibited and displayed for INTRODUCTION IN THE FOREIGN MARKET. EXPORT OF KINNO TO RUSSIA:
Following the lifting of ban by Russia during November, 2007, Pakistan has started exporting kinno. This will enable Pakistan achieve a record kinno export target of 0.225 million tons this season. Last season we could export only 56,000 tons of kinno to Russia as a ban was imposed as thrips and mite viruses were found in the fruit by the authorities in Russia.
Reportedly, several containers loaded with kinno have already left Bhalwal. Bhalwal in Sargodha district is basically a kinno growing area and is producing 82 percent of the total fruit produced in the country. A Russian team of experts along with the officials from our Ministry of Food and Agriculture (MINFAL) and Quarantine department are already stationed at Bhalwal to check and ensure that virus free kinnos are sent in the containers to Karachi. As a precaution and safeguard, as soon as a container is loaded, it is sealed both by Russians and PHDEB officials.
On their arrival, the Russian team was expected to stay at Bhalwal for about a month. Pakistan is likely to earn a record income from kinno export this season, which formally started from October 27.
SHIPMENTS TO OTHER COUNTRIES:
Kinno shipments have also started going to South Asia, Middle East, Far East, and Central Asian markets, Sri Lanka, Manila, Dubai and Almaty.
TARGETS AND EXPECTATIONS:
The country should be able to export 0.2 million kinno but, with the lifting of ban by Russia, optimistically the export of this commodity can go up to 0.225 million tons. PHDEB is in the process of applying a mechanism for pre-shipment inspection (PSI) to ensure that only quality kinno with standard weight gets to the foreign markets, which mainly are Russian Federal, Afghanistan, Iran, India, Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. This is meant to upkeep the image of Pakistan and to avoid possibility of any complaint from foreign markets and uphold the reputation of our exporters.
The optimism for record export of kinno finds support from the fact that due to the bumper crop, the yield of the fruit is expected to be 1.6 million tons.