ISLAMABAD: The kinnow exports are expected to reach 0.2 million metric tons during the ongoing season, trade experts said, stressing the need for adopting modern techniques to achieve better results.
Chief Executive Officer, Harvest Tradings, Ahmad Jawad on Monday said Pakistan, which is an important citrus producer across the globe produces about 2 million tons, out of which 90 percent are kinnow.
However, country's exports are just 10 percent of citrus whereas the remaining quantity is consumed domestically.
Jawad stressed the need for switching to latest technologies to mitigate post harvest losses and enhance exports from the country to help this industry grow properly.
He also highlighted the importance of exploring new markets and adopting modern marketing techniques to boost exports.
"It is a challenge for the agricultural scientists and extension workers to reduce the post harvest losses as Pakistan wastes 40 percent of the citrus production in the post harvest process due to poor harvest practices, harvest delay, lack of disease management and extreme weather conditions," he remarked.
So far, kinnow has already been introduced in more than 20 countries of the world, however it could not get full potential from these markets, he said and added that exports can further be increased provided modern marketing techniques are applied.
He urged the government to help establish export zones, dry ports and most importantly devise proper strategy for kinnow export to exploit full potential of this important sector.
Jawad emphasized that Pakistan should make reforms as per demands of the sensitive markets, including Europe, Eastern Europe and Russia, who stress implementation of Good Agriculture Practices (GAP).
"To make exports sustainable and to avoid situations we need to regulate the use of pesticides and residual level on the grower's level as well as explore every year new markets with the help of government. We should also learn from Australian Citrus Boards that developed a vibrant citrus industry in shortest period of time," he said.
He said the Australian expertise could be utilized to introduce and evaluate new citrus varieties and types, the improvement of nursery production systems for virus free stock and the assembly and testing of improved management packages (comprising better tree management, irrigation and fertilization practices and pest and disease management) to increase yields and product quality, and on enhancing the extension system.
He asked Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Company (PHDEC) to devise a comprehensive strategy for tapping the full potential of this sector.
Copyright APP (Associated Press of Pakistan), 2012