Russia, Ukraine top Pak kinnow importers

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GMT - 3 Hours Russia, Ukraine top Pak kinnow importers

Post by yaad on Wed Sep 21, 2011 9:23 pm

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ISLAMABAD: Russia and Ukraine have emerged as the biggest markets for Pakistani kinnow as exports to these countries have reached to 30 percent of total exports of the fruit from the country.

During the last five years, the kinnow exports to Russia and Ukraine have increased from almost zero to an over 100,000 tons, almost
30 percent of the total exports of the fruit, Chief Executive Officer, Harvest Tradings Ahmad Jawad said in a statement received here
Wednesday.

"Both these states need smaller kinnow, for its strong taste and high sucrose content," he said adding their share is increasing every year as according to a recent study between January and April 2011, the citrus import volume in Russia noted a 29% increase compared to the
same period in 2010.

For the purpose, Pakistan needs to develop a new variety of the fruit that meets the requirements of Russia, Ukraine and possibly other East European states.

Size of fruit can be controlled with management practices as well, but it would be better if the country is somehow able to develop a new variety that does not grow beyond a certain size, he suggested.

He said that due to similar consumption patterns in this region, the exporters hope to expand their share.

Jawad was of the view that lack of adequate facilities and proper training of picking and packing, the crop production becomes victim of the post harvest losses every year.

He said that major post harvest losses are inflicted due to lack of awareness about how to deal with the fruit during picking and packing, adding that another factor was the lack of proper storage system, which makes the fruit vulnerable to early rotting.

"There is lack of proper warehouses to store the kinnow and the existing storage lacks facilities as all fruits and vegetables are being kept in a similar temperature under one roof, which reduces the shelf-life of these fruits," he added.

He said that initiatives have been taken to encourage farmers to utilize the proper techniques of picking and packing and stressed the need for developing proper storage for kinnow preservation.

Jawad said besides domestic consumption, kinnow has become one of the major export items among the fruit groups.

The fruit grows primarily in plains of Punjab province including Sargodha and Toba Tek Singh and the share of Pakistan's citrus in the world market is as low as 1.4 percent.

The low export volume of the citrus fruit is due to lack of growing practices, which are not in conformity with international harvesting procedure leading to its lower demand.

Pakistan is ranked the 13th largest citrus producer in the world with an area of 1,85,000 hectares, producing 2.1 million tonnes of citrus.

Russia's fresh citrus imports from Pakistan have been increasing, as it grows no citrus of its own.

Efforts have so far been concentrated on increasing the size and improving the look of the fruit because to fulfill the market demands of
the Middle East and the Far East. (APP)
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