The Balochistan government is planning to begin work on the establishment of a date processing unit at Panjgur to process and preserve the commodity.
It is pertinent to mention that the Makran division has vast natural resources and untapped potential in the form of delicious and unique dates.
The farmers are facing a decline in production due to a lack of processing facilities and cold storage capacity.
“The Panjgur and Turbat districts of Makran division are producing 51 per cent of the country’s dates in a year whereas the date harvest is spreading over an area of about 20,000 hectares,” said Agricultural Researcher Abdul Hanan. “It is also one of the main crops for 70 percent of the population of the area.”
He added that, “the government should take initiatives to encourage farmers for cultivating dates as the region has potential to produce the best varieties of dates including Mozawti, Begam Jani and others.”
Hanan appealed to the provincial government to promote less water intensive plants species like olives and pistachio due to the prevailing drought season. “The government should also facilitate the farmers to plants more date trees this year in Balochistan,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 23rd, 2020.
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