Pronounced currency devaluation of Morocco, Egypt and Turkey and financial assistance extended by their Governments to Horticulture Sector has endangered survival of US$ 200 million Kinnow industry of Pakistan.
Keeping in view the stiff competition in the International market, All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA) has developed strategy for export of Kinnow which will include purchasing on appropriate rate from local market, making growers quality conscious and creating awareness about Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) and seeking assistance from the GoP for developing new verities through R&D.
To evaluate challenge , the export of Kinnow is confronted with, recently a meeting was held in Bhalwal in which Chairman – PFVA , Abdul Malik , Senior Vice Chairman Ansar Iqbal , Members Executive committee Sarfaraz Hussain Ranjha , Shahid Sultan , Dost Mohammad , Armughan Rabbani , Former Vice Chairman Aslam Pakhali , Former Senior Vice Chairman Majid and overwhelming majority of growers , processors and exporters participated.
Pakistani Kinnow is sold in the International market due to its low price, however due to sharp devaluation of currencies of our competitors namely Morocco, Egypt and Turkey and financial assistance of 5 – 7 % on Invoice value to the Kinnow exporters by the Governments of these countries, the survival of Pakistani Kinnow industry worth US$ 200 million is in jeopardy, the Patron-in-Chief expressed shared his serious concern while addressing the participants.
During last season of Kinnow, the exporters sustained huge financial losses of US$ 40 -45 million, he further added. Pakistani Kinnow was sold at lower price than its actual cost of production due to lower price of Kinnow from our competitors and Pakistani exporters in particular sustained heavy financial losses in Russia, Ahmed disclosed. Despite Iran being a lucrative market for Pakistani Kinnow, we could not manage to export Kinnow during the last season due to non-issuance of Import Permit by Iran. Government of Pakistan is also considering canceling the PTA with Indonesia and that may lead to closure of yet another big market, while uncertain political turmoil in the Middle East also poses an alarming situation, Ahmed reported. The GoP did not initiate any concrete step to resolve issues and concerns of this industry despite comprehensive briefing given to the Ex- PM Nawaz Sharif by the patron-in –Chief PFVA , deplored Waheed .
The people attached with the Kinnow industry must chalk out short, medium and long term strategy to save this industry from complete disaster. The Growers must be assisted to improve quality of the fruit while due attention must be paid to enhance window of Kinnow season and new varieties be also developed, Ahmed emphasized. The GoP must focus its attention to this Horticulture industry which is playing a vital role in provision of employment opportunities and funds be also allocated for research & development besides 10% financial assistance to the exporters, Ahmed stressed . The growers shall ensure to provide Kinnow at reasonable price to the exporters enabling them to compete in the International market and instead of short term “seasonal gain”, long term benefit shall be given preference and if it’s not taken seriously the export of Kinnow may come to an end, the growers would be the first victim of this disastrous situation – Ahmed cautioned. It‘s need of the hour to work closely with full cooperation and unity to face challenge ahead of us, Ahmed advised.
Participants of the meeting expressing serious concerns over the alarming situation unanimously agreed to initiate combined efforts from the platform of the PFVA. Purchasing process of Kinnow and fixing it’s rate by the management was critically analyzed and declaring rate fixation as deviation from the principals of free market economy participants recommended that rate of kinnow be fixed subject to its quality . To ensure effective implementation of this recommendation, a six – members committee comprising of Ahktar Saeed, Chudhary Naseer, Aqeel Gul, Sarfara Ranjha, Javed Rawana and Haji Yunis was formulated which its prime responsibility to fix rate on purchase of good quality of kinnow for export purpose.
It was also decided during the meeting that a detailed letter shall be sent to Ministry of commerce apprising them of issues of this industry particularly about the stiff competition in International markets so that GoP can assess the magnitude of challenges the Kinnow industry currently is confronted with.