Fruit exporters from Pakistan are demanding to bring the Rupee’s value down to a fair level. They stated that this was necessary since their competitors normally devalue their currency to support their exports.
According to All Pakistan Fruit & Vegetable Association (PFVA) , the citrus fruits’ export season is close, and Pakistan is exporting $200 million each year. But due to the devalued currency of its competitors, Pakistan will not able to survive in the market in the upcoming season.
PFVA said that Morocco, Egypt and Turkey financially devalue their currency to make their exports cheaper and that these countries also provide financial assistance to their Horticulture Sector. These incentives should be offered for Pakistani market too otherwise it will hurt exports of citrus fruits, specially Kinnow.
PFVA has developed a strategy for the export of Kinnow. It involves purchasing the crop at appropriate rates from local markets, making growers quality conscious and spreading awareness about good agriculture practices (GAP) and seeking assistance from the GoP for developing new verities through R&D.
Chief Patron PFVA Abdul Waheed said that,
Pakistani Kinnow is sold in the international market due to it’s low price. However, due to the sharp devaluation of currencies of our competitors and other financial benefits, the survival of Pakistani Kinnow industry is in jeopardy.
He further added,
During last season, the exporters of kinnow sustained huge financial losses of US$ 40 -45 million. Pakistani Kinnow was sold at a lower price than it’s actual cost of production, This was due to the lower price offered by our competitors. Pakistani exporters in particular sustained heavy financial losses in Russian market.
Patron-in-Chief Abdul Waheed demanded that government should make arrangements for exporting Kinnow to Iran.
Iran is a lucrative market for Pakistani Kinnow, but due to prevailing import conditions during last season, kinnow exports to our neighbor was negligible.
Abdul Waheed also said that the people attached with the Kinnow industry must chalk out short, medium and long term strategies to save this industry from complete disaster. The growers must be assisted to improve the quality of the fruit while due attention must be paid to enhance the window of Kinnow season and that new varieties be also developed.
He further said that the GoP must focus its attention towards the Horticulture industry which is playing a vital role in provision of employment opportunities. Funds should also be allocated for research & development besides 10% financial assistance to the exporters,
The growers shall ensure to provide Kinnow at reasonable price to the exporters enabling them to compete in the International market. Instead of short term “seasonal gain,” long term benefits shall be given preference. Otherwise Pakistan faces a crisis when it comes to kinnow exports – Abdul Waheed.