MULTAN: The country is exporting only 9-10 per cent of its total Kino production which can be increased thrice the existing export volume provided farmers adopt scientific methods from growth to post harvest stages.
Agriculture Spokesman Naveed Asmat Kahlon said in a statement on Thursday that Pakistan produced Kino 80 per cent more than other Citrus fruit and application of modern techniques at all stages of growth and during the post-harvest phase could not only add value to the fruit to attract premium price but also increase export volume to fetch much needed foreign exchange to the country.
He said research was in progress at the Citrus Research Institute on delicate stages of harvest.
He said role of Pack Houses was of paramount importance in penetrating lucrative markets for Pakistani Kino.
He said farmers should Wax the fruit and wash it with proper techniques and suitable chemicals to ensure that all the labour they had done earlier should not go waste.
He said that most of the farmers sell their production to contractors while the fruit is still hanging in trees.
Contractors either harvest the fruit early to earn quick money or delay it on the reasoning of reports from markets.
In both cases, physiological and commercial grade ripening of the fruit is affected. Early harvest yield small size fruit in green colour which attracts low price while the late harvest gives fruit with less juice content and improper taste.
Fruit should be harvested by pair of scissors in a way that there should be no loss of leaf and fruit should safely go into the basket without any damage.
The spokesman said that fruit should not be harvested in moist conditions.
He said that in case of overlooking harvest guidelines, farmers could face up to 20 per cent losses before the fruit reaches its destination.
He advised farmers against loading the fruit in the form of heaps on animal carts or tractor trollies which causes damage to fruit like dirt on it, damage to skin and its physiological condition.
For transportation, the fruit should be properly packed in a way that jerks during the travel should not damage it.
In Pakistan, particularly Punjab, fruit start changing its colour in November end due to low temperature and Ethylene gas.
The sweetness and acidity of the fruit can be assessed through scientific methods to know the ripening stage of fruit.
Farmers or exporters should also perform grading of the fruit so that a packing should have uniform size of fruit free from disease and in good physiological condition.—APP