ISLAMABAD  - Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan, Federal Minister for National Food Security and Research, on Wednesday said that Russian Federation has lifted ban on import of kinnows from Pakistan.

“This would not only enhance Pakistani kinnows export to Russia but also benefit the Pakistani farmers, growers and investments in packing and workers associated with the trade”, Bosan said while addressing a press conference here. Secretary Ministry of Food Security and National Research and seniors officials of the ministry were also present on the occasion.

The Minister for National Food Security and Research Sikandar Hayat Khan Bosan termed the lifting of ban on import of Pakistani Kinows by Russian Federation was a big achievement and it was due to the efforts of present government.

He also thanked Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, and other relevant ministries for their efforts to hold talks on the lifting of ban on Pakistan to export its Kinows to Russian Federation. Sikandar Boson said that negotiations are underway in lifting of ban on Pakistani potato and rice but the Russian Federation has assured Pakistan that after Christmas they would start talks with Pakistani authorities.

He said that Russia has imposed a ban on Pakistani potato exports due to some disease which he called “Golden nematode”.

He expressed the hope that ban on these Pakistani agriculture products would also be lifted and Pakistan exports to Russian Federation would be increased. The Minister said that currently Pakistan exports worth up to $150-175 million. After the lifting of ban on kinnow import by Russia would increased to $200 million. He added that kinonow producing areas like Sargoda would also benefit from this facility.

Replying to a question, he said that Russian Federation also imposed a ban on imports from India but lifted it after two and half years but ban on imports on kinnow from Pakistan was lifted within two-months.

Sindar Hayat Bosan on the occasion told the journalists that Pakistan has also signed an agreement for export of kinow to Indonesia. He hoped this would also enhance Pakistan export of kinnow to Indonesia and would benefits the farmers and traders.

The minister said that it was the demand of growers and traders of kinnow that government should make efforts for lifting of ban on kinow imports by Russia from Pakistan.

“We have also met their demand”, he remarked.

Kinow season in Pakistan, he said, has started and lifting of the ban would benefit the country and its growers and exporters.

When asked about the recent hike in the prices of potato and tomato, the minister said that the prices of the two commodities have started coming down.

He said that 36,000 tons potato are expected to produce only in Punjab against the total consumption of 18,000 tons in the country.

“We only consume 50 percent or 18,000 tons of the total potato production and self sufficient in the community”, he added.

He said that by December 15 (This month) the new production would come in the market and the prices would further come down.

About tomato, he said Pakistan is not self sufficient in the commodity. About onions, he said that only two provinces of Sindh and Balochistan produce the commodities and due to transportation and other costs, its price increased. However, he said that government is taking steps to control the prices of these communities.