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Kinnow expects three-fold hike in exports

Punjab’s king fruit may record an export of 25,000-30,000 tonnes this season against 7K tonnes last year.

Photo with Kinnow Story. photo by sarabjit singh In Punjab this year, one million tonnes of kinnow production is expected from a 49,300-hectare area. Express

UNLIKE VEGETABLES, which have been fetching a poor price for growers this season, Punjab’s king fruit kinnow has been witnessing 40 per cent rise in rate and also expecting an export of over three times than that of last year. Despite demonetisation, demand for the fruit remained pretty high in the local market, too. Improved farm practice of kinnow harvesting and supply through cold chain have increased exports this year.

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Last year, around 7,000 tonnes of kinnow were exported to various countries, including 5,000 tonnes to Russia. This time, the government had earlier targeted exports of around 20,000 tonnes, but officials of Punjab Agro, a Punjab government undertaking, said exports would exceed 25,000 tonnes. In

Punjab, one million tonnes of kinnow production is expected from a 49,300-hectare area. According to Punjab Horticulture department, over 370 containers carrying over 10,000 tonnes kinnow has been exported till date to Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Bangla Desh and Russia while several private companies have also exporting the fruit, taking the export quantity to nearly 15,000 tonnes till date.

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Kinnow harvesting began in the end of November and it will continue till early March and till date, around 15,000 tonnes of kinnow have already been exported to Bangladesh, Dubai and Russia by kinnow growers who are being facilitated by Punjab Agro for improving their quality.

Kinnow grower Surinder Charaya from Abohar, who exports kinnow to Bangladesh, Dubai and Russia, said cash crunch has started hitting kinnow in the local market in the beginning and the rates, despite being high compared to last year, were also affected. But the export demand of kinnow did not let the price of the fruit to go down from Rs 15-16 per kilo in the wholsesale market while the rates were Rs 9-10 per kilo in the wholesale market last year.

“Export is good and several exporters have exported around 300 containers carrying 25 tonnes of kinnow each to Bangladesh, Dubai, Russia, etc. till date and more buyers have reached Punjab to purchase our kinnow,” said Charaya.

It is learnt that the export rate is Rs 18-30 per kilo depending on quality.

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Punjab Agro managing director K S Pannu said they have been making a lot of effort, including providing cold chain infrastructure to kinnow growers who have been exporting it. “We are expecting our kinnow export to cross over 25,000 tonnes this year,” he said, adding that the cold chain supply of kinnow has increased its shelf life and consequently its demand.

“More export was possible due to adoption of improved farm practice of kinnow harvesting in line with international standards, including import of post-harvest fungicide laden wax to ensure long storage life of kinnow,” informed Pannu. “We have imported citrus fruit clippers and harvesting bags, besides providing specialised training to labour engaged in fruit picking in orchards and took the kinnow growers to the trade fair in Russia and even facilities like refrigerated wagons are being provided to transport from one place to other,” said Pannu.

Besides Russia, Bangladesh, Dubai, new markets, including Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Mauritius, are being explored, stated Pannu.

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“Our kinnow has a great demand in these countries as these contains anti-cholesterol, anti-cancerous properties,” said Punjab director of horticulture and citrus fruit expert Gurkanwal Singh, adding that the rate of export is always better than the local market. “If demonetisation had not happened and proper cash flow was available, then the rate of kinnow would have been around Rs 25-30 per kilo in the wholesale market which is very good,” said Singh.

Two kinnow processing plants runs

Two kinnow processing plants in Hoshiarpur and Abohar are also running where juice is being prepared from C and D grade kinnow, which is small in size but good for juice purposes. Because of the small size, consumers do not prefer it for eating due to which it is purchased by plants for making juice. The plant authorities are purchasing this at the rate of Rs 6 per kilo against the rate of Rs 5 per kg last year, said Singh.

First published on: 09-02-2017 at 04:04:14 am
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