In a bid to balance dwindling exports of kinnow to traditional markets, Pakistani minister for national food security and research, Sahibzada Mehboob Sultan announced China and the Philippines as new markets for Pakistan’s citrus fruit.
During a visit to a citrus export processing unit in Bhalwal, Sargodha, on 3 January the minister said he expected the move to boost kinnow export about 20 per cent in 2019.
“Presently, we are facing many challenges internationally. European Union and other developed countries of the world are causing hurdles in the way of agro exports. America, Australia, Japan, Korea and even few central Asian countries are not willing to import Pakistani kinnow anymore, while those who are importing are not paying attractive exchange,” said Sultan.
Citrus canker and citrus greening disease both continue to be a hurdle for kinnow exports. The minister said he would extend his help and look to create a comprehensive plan for the inspection of diseases, disease-free nurseries, control programmes and global standards to help access new and profitable markets.
“The world is setting new standards for imports such as SPS [standards], pesticide residue elimination, cold treatment and pest free area. These are difficult and costly and hence affecting our exports to a considerable level,” noted Sultan.
“We believe in ease of doing business and hence our ministry has established a facilitation centre at Bhalwal, where inspectors of the Department of Plant Protection would facilitate exporters regarding inspection and issuance of SPS certificates,” he said.
In 2018 Pakistan exported 30,000 tonnes of kinnow to Indonesia, it’s second-largest market after Russia.