The overall decline in export of fruits and vegetables contributed from a drop in the export of kinno, mango, onion, and potato for 2016-18.

Fruit exports drop to 45,304 tons earning $382 million in 2016-17 from676,531 tons earning $427m in 2015-16 while exports of vegetable cut down to 623,626 tons ($186m) in 2016-17 from 701,050 tons ($213m) in 2015-16 according to the figures provided by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS). Kinno contributes to $275m in total export.

Waheed Ahmed, Patron-in-Chief, All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters, Importers and Merchants Association (PFVA), said vegetable growers cultivated different onion variety in Sindh that has improved production but reduced shelf life affecting its quality and export. On the other hand, Indian onion having cheaper rates is also a challenge to local produce.

He also said that potato cannot be imported to Russia as they are farming tubers and importing it from Indian at lower cost. Mr. Waheed said exports of kinno fell while bad weather affected its quality. Iran is a profitable market for Pakistani kinno without import permit issue, he added.

The government is up to the cancellation of Preferential Trade Agreement with Indonesia leading to end another market, the political turmoil of Middle East posing another alarming situation.

He added that slow shipment in the Middle East, Qatar and Oman has affected the mango exports in June 2017. Survival of Pakistan’s $200m kinno exports in the international market is endangered due to the currency devaluation of Morocco, Egypt and Turkey, and extension of financial aid by the government.

He said for the first time, kinno exporters and investors had developed a strategy in Bhalwal against the tough competition in the international market. The strategy was based on purchasing kinno from the local market and making growers conscious about quality through developing technology and new varieties through R&D.

He advised growers to focus on long term benefit and offer reasonable rates to exporters to compete in the international market and ignore the “seasonal benefits”.

The process of purchasing and rate fixing by management was critically scrutinized in the meeting and it is suggested that fruit’s rate should be fixed by its quality.

A six-member committee is containing Ahktar Saeed, Chaudhry Naseer, Aqeel Gul, Sarfaraz Ranjha, Javed Rawana and Haji Yunus as members to ensure implementation of the effective recommendations.