Iran has lifted restrictions on the import of Pakistani kinnow which had been in place since 2012.
Taking to Twitter, Minister of Foreign Affairs Shah Mehmood Qureshi tweeted, “I am pleased to share some good news for our citrus farmers. Following discussions, (I am) happy to announce that Iran has lifted restrictions on the import of Pakistan’s kinnow.”
Qureshi had met with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani at the presidential palace on Tuesday. He also met with Pakistani diplomats in Tehran to discuss ways of strengthening economic and trade relations between Pakistan and Iran.
Local media reports quoted officials and persons related to the matter saying that export of the fruit will increase substantially in the coming season and it is a good omen for farmers too as Iran is one of the largest markets for kinnow worth around $45 million.
Experts have expressed hope that Iran could be the number one market again as it was a border-sharing country while Russia was a distant country so trade with the latter involved logistic challenges. However, trade with Iran faced the challenge of smuggling.
Furthermore, demand for kinnow on Nauroz, which falls on March 20 or 21 every year, soars manifold while its citrus season culminates in mid-February. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s citrus season remains in place as exporters save the fruit with the help of cold storages. However, the country is losing this edge with time as its citrus varieties are wearing out due to climate change and insufficient research and development (R&D) work, forcing the country to introduce new varieties every 25 years.