KARACHI - Pakistani fruit and vegetable exporters have started facing huge financial losses due to 100 per cent search of refrigerated containers at ports started by Drug Enforcement Cell and Federal Board of Revenue. Exporters have suffered loss of almost Rs80 million during last few weeks as at least 50 containers loaded with Kinnow, which were scheduled to be exported to various countries, were cancelled. Although only 5 per cent of loaded perishable items should be searched at ports by concerned authorities, but opening all refrigerated containers at ports is damaging fruits. These fruits are later rejected by foreign buyers, Waheed Ahmed Co Chairman All Pakistan Fruit and Vegetable Exporters Importers and Merchant Association (PFVA) said while talking to Profit. Under fresh move started by authorities, exporters are likely to face huge losses which would also badly affect export target fixed by government. Search of refrigerator containers loaded with vegetables and fruits, which are kept at specific temperature to maintain their quality and standard in line with demand of importers from different countries, would also cause loss of many important international markets, he said. He added that important markets include Saudi Arabia, England, UAE, Iran, and European countries where a huge quantity of fruits and vegetable was being imported from Pakistan. “The refrigerated container loses its previous temperature when it is opened at ports. Hence fruits refrigerated also lose their lives, making them unqualified or substandard for the already quality sensitive customers of the country’s exports,” he said.
There is also no cooling or refrigerated system at the country’s ports to ensure that the quality of fruits remains unaffected. “If the concerned authorities did not stop the move, exporters will face huge losses besides losing many important markets across the world not only for the current season but also next year.