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Campco to resume arecanut shipments to Pakistan

M. Raghuram

The Karachi-based Agar International has signed a contract to buy 2,000 tonnes of white arecanut.

Mangalore , July 18

THE Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Co-operative Ltd (Campco) will resume the export of arecanut to Pakistan with a total consignment of 2,000 tonnes beginning with an initial load of 500 tonnes in August.

After a lull of areca trade for two years after the Kargil impasse, trade with Pakistan is looking up following improvements in bilateral relations. The President of Campco, Mr B. Nagaraja Shetty, who had participated in the Indo-Pak Chambers of Commerce trade conference at Delhi recently is back with a contract with the Pakistani importer Agar International based at Karachi for 2,000 tonnes of white variety of arecanut which is endemic to Dakshina Kannada and northern Kerala.

Campco and Agar International have already formalised the trade through an agreement signed last week.

The total business is valued at Rs 16 crore according to Mr Shetty, who spoke to Business Line here on Friday.

Mr Shetty, who had been to Pakistan before the Kargil confrontation, said the white variety areca was a hot favourite of pan chewers. Quoting from the estimates of consumption in Pakistan, Mr Shetty said Pakistan uses over one lakh tonnes of arecanut annually and Campco was foraying into that market with hopes of increasing its export.

Mr Shetty is sure that if the most favoured nation (MFN) status is given to India areca trade would increase substantially. Despite the absence of such a status the areca trade had not suffered, he said.

He said there were indications that Pakistan would be bringing down import duty on arecanut especially from the country from the existing 25 per cent.

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