Kinnow Prices Doubles This Season

Kinnow.jpgKinnow, an early spring citrus fruit, used to be abundant in Pakistani markets but its prices have doubled this season. A survey in Islamabad revealed that it is being sold at Rs 60-150 a dozen or Rs 12 a kinnow. Last year, the price was only Rs 30-80 a dozen.

Kinnow is basically a hybrid of two citrus cultivars: – the ‘king’ and the ‘willow leaf’ – and is classified as the kinnow mandarin. People are seen haggling with shopkeepers but ultimately have to pay the exorbitant prices, which shopkeepers blame on a shortage of supply.

The country yielded 250,000 tons of kinnow last year, according to a Network for Consumer Protection (TCP) estimate. This production was unprecedented.

Farmers usually sell their produce to middlemen or contractors who then supply the fruit to big cities. Hence the contractors are in a position to tip the market in their favour.

A kinnow can survive for four-five days on average. Muhammad Ramzan, a farmer, said that contractors started picking very late last year to cause an artificial shortage and earn more profits. Consequently, the orchards could not flower on time this year, leading to a major decline in produce and a shortage of the fruit in the market.

Dr Baber Ehsan Bajwa, the Pakistan Horticulture Development and Export Board director, said that kinnow plants bore more fruit in one season and less in the next because of a genetic problem.

“Flower bearing was less than normal this year because we had a bumper crop last year. In addition, wind storms and changing temperatures also wrought havoc,” he said.

Experts agree that the delayed picking last year was the main reason behind the extra-ordinary low produce this season. Middlemen are quick to exploit this situation to multiply their profits. Consumers say that shopkeepers deliberately charge a much higher price, making the most of the shortage.

Pakistan is the fifth largest citrus producer in the world, behind Brazil, USA, China and India. Pakistani kinnows are known for their easy peel, refined taste, and high juice concentration with extra vitamin C. Its pulp is also used for desserts and sauces.

Punjab yields 97 percent of Pakistan’s kinnows and the Sargodha district, specifically its Bhalwal tehsil, produces 52 percent of the total produce, it is reported. The kinnow was planted in 1958 in Chak 10 NB for the first time.

The kinnow plant starts giving fruit in five years but its real produce comes after eight years and the plant has a total lifespan of about 25-30 years. However, a disease can cause the death of the tree in five years as well. It is an important citrus specie among others from the area including the malta, sangtara, grape fruit, metha, lemon, lime, mosamee, fruiter and blood orange.

4 Comments so far

  1. A for [pine]apple (unregistered) on March 10th, 2007 @ 11:37 pm

    kinnow spring may kaun khata hay :|


  2. SELF (unregistered) on March 10th, 2007 @ 2:04 pm

    I guess its best to pretend not to have heard of the important news ie effective sacking of CJ. :P


  3. A for [pine]apple (unregistered) on March 11th, 2007 @ 12:25 am

    and @ self : see you know about sacking of CJ … do you depend on us to tell you abt it :P

    BTW the WEATHER is getting warmer here …. if you wana know about ISLAMABAD .


  4. Baldeep Singh Bajwa (unregistered) on March 14th, 2007 @ 1:14 pm

    Dear Sir,
    I am thinking of converting my 35Acres farm from conventional farming to Citrus.I want to put sweet oranges and mandarin es which have been budded on rootstock like carrizo.
    Your independent view is solicited regarding the yields and profitability.

    Best Regard,

    B.S.Bajwa



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