ISLAMABAD: Director Harvest Tradings Ahmed Jawad said it is unfortunate that growers, the real stakeholders of this industry are not given the proper price of their produce and every year they are dependent on exporters’ mercy.
Speaking at a seminar he said besides, the cost of inputs, especially fertilizers and pesticides, is unpredictable.
High cost of electricity with heavy loadshedding is another problem of them, in spite of that last year mostly farmers were given Rs 500 per mound (40kg) price of the kinnow against the set price of Rs 700 by the exporters, he revealed. He mentioned as Pakistan produced about 2 million tons of citrus annually, 90 percent of which was kinnow and it grew on 80 percent agriculture land of Sargodha district (Bhalwal, Kot Momin, Silanwali and adjacent localities), but the government paid no attention to solve the problems they were facing for years.
It is feared that they would go to cultivate other crops if the situation remained the same, This merits that Pakistan, though a major kinnow producer is still lagging behind in modern techniques when it comes to enhancing the value of kinnow export. Jawad urged to make exports Sustainable.
He said, however, we need to explore every year new markets with the help of government so that growers may get good rate for their produce and accordingly they put in more efforts for better quality, he added, that we should learn from Australian Citrus Board who developed a vibrant citrus industry in shortest period of time from farm to exporters.
“As Australian expertise could be utilised to introduce and evaluate new varieties and in kinnow marketing strategy as well, On the other hand after registering mango farms, the government has started surveying kinnow orchards in an attempt to standardize its export to the European Union (EU) and other markets through Department of Plant Protection (DPP).
For the first time in the country’s history, government in May 2014 introduced a well-known global practice of tracking fruit farms and even trees to standardize mango export to the EU.
Jawad said, exporters and government officials believe the practice paid dividends and mango exporters fetched higher prices this year, encouraging authorities to replicate the practice to other fruits and vegetables, Reportedly DPP have started surveying kinnow farms to understand the problems of growers.