ISLAMABAD: Indonesia has doubled Pakistan’s Kinnow import season from January to April after review of Preferential Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries.
Initially, import of kinnow from Pakistan was restricted to months of February and March only which has now been doubled from January to April.
According to official sources in the ministry of commerce here, official notification to this effect has been made by the Indonesian government.
Owing to the success of the economic diplomacy of the present government, the popular demand of the Kinnow exporters has been met by enhancing access to Indonesian market.
The kinnow, a sub form of Oranges is smaller in size but tastes relatively similar.
Kinnow is a cross between the `King’ and `Willow-leaf’ species of citrus fruits, created after successful experimentation at the Citrus Research Centre, University of California, USA in 1951.
Both of these parent breeds have Indo-China origins.
The soil and climatic conditions in Pakistan have given the Kinnow a unique flavor which distinguishes it from other comparable mandarins grown in the world.
Kinnow is one of the best varieties of fresh mandarins. Primarily Kinnow is in close relation with tangerine, similar in taste.
Ideal conditions for growing kinnow include abundance of water, rich nitrogen content in the soil and relatively cool weather.
Winter in the plains of Punjab province provides an excellent atmosphere for this fruit and the resulting fruit is sweet and has a very distinct taste.
At this point Sargodha is the main citrus producing district, with about 23 per cent of Pakistan’s total citrus plantings, producing around 650,000 metric tons of fruit each year.
Toba Tek Singh ranks second and Sahiwal third.
As compared to the processing of other fresh fruits processing of Kinnows appears to be very well developed.
There are around 250 kinnow processing enterprises in Sargodha.140 are listed with PHDEC.
Some 37 processing enterprises have some sort of certifications including Global GAP, HACCP and BRC and to enhance exports the processors and exporters are improving their processing plants to get more certifications particularly BRC to enter in European Union (EU) market.
The installed processing plants definitively require improvements for quality processing.
Pakistan is the tenth largest producer of citrus in the world.
Pakistan is also the largest producer of `Citrus Reticula’ variety (Kinnow), this unique variety of citrus is indigenous to this part of the world.
According to an estimate approximately 95 percent of the total Kinow produced all over the world is grown in Pakistan.
The main Kinnow growing district is Sargogha.—APP