ISLAMABAD: Although Pakistan’s kinnow exports to Indonesia surged to $23 million in 2016 as compared to $3m in 2013 in the wake of a Preferential Trade Agreement, the ongoing export season has been affected by climate change and it is most likely that this year’s target will not be achieved.
The chairman of the regional standing committee of Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI), Ahmad Jawad, said on Sunday that the target was 350,000 tonnes, but the crop had been hit by sudden hailstorms and the exporters were unable to meet the buyers’ demand.
“Our agriculture sector is being badly affected by climate change, disturbance of seasons and decreasing underground water level,” the FPCCI official said in a statement.
Mr Jawad said the situation could worsen if appropriate measures were not taken.
“The whole world is being affected by climate change and Pakistan can become the most affected country if pre-emptive measures are not taken.”
He said a hail detection radar system was presented recently at the Fruit Logistica event in Berlin.
“If such technology is introduced in Pakistan through public-private partnership, we can save our products from hailstorms and other threats of climate change, especially for kinnow and mango crops.”
Rising sea levels, changing weather patterns and decreasing water resources might not have just a one-time colossal impact, but a more pronounced effect in altering urban and rural economic landscapes for good, he said. According to the World Bank, rising temperatures will impact multiple sectors of the economy, especially food, energy and water.
In Pakistan, extreme heat and changing rainfall pattern are expected to have a detrimental impact on the agricultural sector. He said it was time for the government to design an effective strategy to tackle the climate change issue .
Published in Dawn, February 20th , 2017