Kinno exports: realm of challenges
Local Kinno export target had been set to 0.3 million tons this year and expected to generate over a $100 million in export earnings. However, the fruit has experienced a bumpy start of season with a variety of challenges in the way of making this goal into a reality. Before the start of the harvesting season, Abdul Wahid, Spokesman for the All-Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association, predicted kinno export to Indonesia to rise to 40,000 to 45,000 tons during January-April 2012, with the signing of MoU for Free Trade Agreement. However, the local kinno faced tough price competition with the variety from China and has failed to win the Indonesian market. Sri Lanka imports 40,000 to 50,000 tons of Pakistani kinno each year but buyers in Sri Lanka don seem too enticed to import Pakistani kinno, all thanks to the recently imposed duty on the imports of agricultural products by their government. The fate of the exports partially lies in the hands of reasons that cannot be predicted at the moment. Iran, which imports 50,000 to 60,000 tons of the local kinno is a market that depends on the timing of the reduction in duty by their government: Last year, Iranian government reduced the duty from 90 to 4 percent in the first week of January; a delay this year will cause the local prices to escalate, not to forget the dent it will cause to the exports. Domestic prices are likely to shoot up if the coin (a ring formed on the kinno skin) problem, already surfaced in several orchids, hits at a vast scale in the high-yield orchids in Sargodha. The spread of the disease will be clear by the end of this year, after which proper analysis of its impact on the exports will be possible. The exporters have been very disappointed by the support or rather lack of it, by the local custom authorities. Perishable items which used to get cleared quickly in the past have to now go through the whole process, causing damage to the packaged fruit with varying temperatures and careless handling. According to one of the exporters, 50 percent of the fruit was damaged when it reached Dubai a few days ago, because of the new checking techniques. As if these issues weren enough, Mother Nature doesn seem to be too kind either. Pakistans kinno season was delayed by 10 days this year. Resultantly, exports have been delayed by one week to Russia, one of the most crucial importers of the local citrus. Whether the local exporters will be able to achieve the targets will be clear in the start of the coming year. With the unpredictable issues it is facing, one can only wait and watch how the coming months unfold on this front.