Kinnow is the most preferred fruit in the Citrus family owing to its richness in nutrients and minerals. Despite being the 12th largest cultivator of Kinnow, Pakistan is struggling with Kinnow exports. Several factors impact the growth of Pakistan’s export industry; climate, defective technology, untrained farmers, and unreliable government policies.
Kinnow is a perennial crop with a long juvenile phase thus it demands better nursing and protection. Due to this fact it is highly vulnerable to climate change. According to the Global Climate, Risk Index annual report for 2020 Pakistan ranks 5th in the list of countries that are severely affected by global warming and drastic weather change. Altered rain patterns and high temperature are the chief reasons behind the downfall of Kinnow production which has been reduced 25 to 30 percent in recent years. Variation in the weather condition ultimately accelerates the risk of Pest infestation resulting in compromised food quality. Owing to this, Pakistan is unable to tap into the European market which prioritizes food quality above all.
In an interview, President Fruit exporter, Waheed Ahmed revealed the Government’s unreliable policies regarding export quota that is damaging Pakistan’s Citrus export industry. “Export to Iran has been closed for 9 years which was previously the second-largest market for kinnow export. The government must devise a policy to tackle these issues”, added Waheed Ahmed. 70 percent of the citrus fruit has been infected due to climate changes and we must educate our farmers to improve the food quality, he opined. In short, we must equip our agriculture sector with the latest technologies to ensure food quality and safety.
Another burning issue concerning citrus fruits is the utilization of their waste: peel, seed, and leftover pulp that are rich sources of minerals and proteins. Plenty of advanced procedures have been introduced all around the globe to utilize citrus waste. The mineral abundant nature of Citrus peel makes it a useful ingredient for creating nutraceuticals products. Through hydro distillation of citrus peel, essential oils are being obtained to combat various skin pathogens. These oils manifest a high anti-bacterial effect that is beneficial against drug-resistant infectants. Pakistan lags in this aspect as well since the waste is predominantly used as animal fodder. Other usages may include the production of skin and cooking products. Due to lack of awareness and progressing technologies, a chief part of citrus waste gets disposed of with solid waste; the major factor in creating environmental pollution and ultimately global warming or climate change. According to an analysis, fruit waste has a great potential for producing methane but the mixing of biodegradable waste with other waste hinders this process. Productive use of waste can result in excessive reduction of solid waste and global warming therefore a significant growth in the cultivation of kinnow and other citrus fruits could be seen in the future. Above all, the Government must introduce the latest procedures and technologies to maximize the productivity and utilization of Citrus fruit waste.
To sum up, we can say that unproductive disposal of Kinnow waste is in cause and effect relationship with its production and low export. Since the waste stimulates the phenomenon of global warming thus hindering the cultivation process of citrus fruits and ultimately a low export of kinnow can be seen. To achieve maximum production and export, the government must level up and equips its agriculture sector with advanced technologies.
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