THE COUNTRY LIKE PAKISTAN HAS BETTER INFRASTRUCTURE IN TERMS OF PROCESSING, WAXING AND GRADING SYSTEM AND WE HAVE NOTHING, CLAIMED SURINDER CHARAYA
Almost 40 per cent of the kinnow gardens in this district are loaded with fruit and there are no buyers. The kinnow growers are getting a meagre rate of Rs 10 per kg. There is no infrastructure, the only citrus factory is closed, whereas tetra packs of Tropicana juice are being manufactured with kinnow concentrate bought from Pakistan at the mega food park situated in Arniwala village in this district. These revelations were made by leading kinnow growers and exporters of the fruit. Daily Post spoke to Surinder Charaya, a state awardee exporter of the fruit, who lamented that the kinnow growers are surviving only because of their big land holdings.Had they been small farmers, they would have taken extreme steps In 2000, the fruit was sold at Rs 10 per kg and after 19 years in 2019 rate stands same.
The country like Pakistan has better infrastructure in terms of processing, waxing and grading system and we have nothing, claimed Charaya. He said that to make the shelf life of the fruit better for three months, the required wax is manufactured in Australia, Turkey and California, whereas India has banned it. To add insult to injury Bangladesh had increaed import tax from Rs 34 per ton to Rs 43 and last year against an import of 1.50 lakh tons, this time the figure is not likely to cross 50,000 tons, said Charaya. Prem Babbar, famous as kinnow king, said that the fruit is grown in 30,500 hectres in Fazilka district followed by 30,000 hectres in the adjoining district of Sriganganagar and 20,000 hectres in Sirsa. About 25 lakh tons of fruit is there and of which 10 lakh tons is of ‘C’ and ‘D’ catagories. For this much of fruit, a factory is required to make juice and the only factory in Abohar is closed since 2007.
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