Fahim Matoo/ Mashkoora Khan
SRINAGAR: Amid hostilities between India and Pakistan along Line of Contol, Pakistani kinnows have made their place in Kashmir markets, with imports ensured through LoC barter trade.
Kinnows are mainly produced in both Indian and Paskistani Punjab that are being imported by dealers.
However, kinnows from Paskistan, according to dealers, are more in demand beacause of their firm skin, deep orange texture, exotic aroma and being more juicy.
Ghulam Mohammad Sidiq, a wholesaler at Fruit Mandi, Parimpora said that there is a little difference between Pakistani kinnows and Indian kinnows. “Kinnows from Pakistan are well polished, have more juice than their Indian countrparts. After getting these kinnows from traders we supply them to retailers.”
He also added that the price is decided by situations – if situation is bad price will be high. Bilal Ahmad Khan a fruit seller said, “We buy these kinnows from fruit mandi while price matters on situation.” In comparison to Indian Kinnows, demand for Pakistani kinnows is more in the market, he added.
Secretary Information, Line of Control (LoC) Trade Union, Chakothi, Aijaz Ahamd Meer told that 10 to 15 trucks of Pakistani kinnows were being sent to Kashmir depending upon the demand and rates.
“I cannot tell you anything about rates because rates keep on changing depending upon the production and demand. But, we supply two types of Pakistani kinnows to Kashmir through LoC. One is normal quality and the other is export quality, and, there is a difference of 70 to 80 rupees between the two,” Meer said.
President, Cross LoC Trade, Salamabad, Hilal Turkey said Pakistani kinnows are in demand as compared to Indian kinnows as they vary in taste. “Pakistani kinnows have made their place in every corner of Kashmir. It has also reduced unemployment,” he claimed.
Experts say that Kinow or kinno is a unique hybrid of two varieties of California oranges having a soft skin which is easy to peel with an attractive fragrance. The harvest starts from December and lasts till April with Punjab and Baluchistan growing the bulk of it.
“The kinnow is very delicious in taste and if waxed properly and carefully stored can retain their freshness for 2 months,” they said.
The kinnow is a variety of citrus fruit cultivated extensively in Pakistan Punjab region since 1940 after Punjab Agriculture College and Research Institute, Faisalabad, Pakistan, introduced the kinnow that is a major fruit crop under cultivation.