Pakistan expects a 50% drop in kinnow exports because of quality issues

The Kinnow industry in Pakistan, a vital contributor to the country’s income and job market, is confronting a crisis. Industry officials anticipate a 50 percent decline in citrus fruit exports this year due to quality issues. The existing Kinnow variety, introduced six decades ago, has become increasingly susceptible to diseases and climate variations, resulting in reduced yields and compromised quality.

The All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Association cautions that the usual five-month season has now dwindled to a mere 1.5 months. Half of the processing plants have shut down, posing a threat to substantial investments and the livelihoods of approximately 400,000 people.

Waheed Ahmed, the patron-in-chief of the association, expresses concern that if this situation persists, Kinnow exports from Pakistan might cease within the next two years. Despite earning $220 million from exporting 450,000 tonnes of Kinnow in the past, this year’s volume is expected to be limited to 150,000 – 250,000 tonnes, generating only $100 million in revenue. Ahmed underscores the urgent need for new Kinnow varieties, emphasizing that the current one has exceeded its lifespan, jeopardizing Pakistan’s position in citrus fruit exports.

Ahmed urges the government to prioritize the development of new Kinnow varieties to avert a crisis that could impact millions of jobs and billions in foreign exchange. He highlights the decline in Kinnow quality, leading to rejected export shipments and financial losses for exporters and importers.

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