Pine nut exports offer locals potential to get rich

Fresh and dried nut exports to China rose to $47.7m in Jan-Sept

November 17, 2022
Pine nuts stored in a godown in Azad Market in the Wazir Subdivision. Photo: Express


The price of half a kilogramme of Pakistani pine nuts in China can be as high as RMB 140 (about Rs4,360), which is at the upper end of the so-called “chain of contempt” of nuts.

Pakistani pine forests are found in valleys at an altitude of 2,000-3,350 metres in the mountainous western areas on the border with Afghanistan.

Sulaiman Range in Balochistan, Sherani and Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Diamer in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) are the main production regions for pine nuts.

A farmer in Diamer said that 200,000 to 250,000 people are engaged in the pine nut business here and every household earns income from it.

According to official data of the General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), in the first nine months of 2022, Pakistan’s exports of pine nuts in shell to China amounted to $47.69 million, over five times the value of $9.5 million for exports of fresh or dried nuts in 2018.

“Pakistani pine nut exports offer the locals a huge potential to earn a living and get rich,” remarked Faisal Ahsan Pirzada, Secretary of Forest, Wildlife and Environment Department, G-B, in an interview with China Economic Net (CEN).

Haji Ghulam Mehmood from Chilas pine nut market agreed and said that the money earned by pine nut exports is settled in US dollars, which is beneficial for Pakistan.

As for the reason behind cutting down the “money tree”, which is a gift of nature, G-B Senior Minister Raja Zakirya Khan Maqpoon told CEN that cutting down the pine trees must be stopped in the underdeveloped areas like Diamer, as forests are their only source of income.



Published in The Express Tribune, November 17th, 2022.

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