Move aside mangoes, here come the dates

Syed Sajjad Ali July 31, 2010

KHAIRPUR: Shades of yellow and brown push back the bright colours of mangoes as crates of dates arrive in the markets.

Khairpur district in particular is abuzz with the harvest. However, the best variety of the fruit is being saved for people abroad. Growers and exporters claim that the Aseel is the best date that is exported even to the Middle East, which is considered a haven for the fruit.

Date grower Qutubuddin said that Aseel has been grown for decades now and it has been declared the best variety by all growers in the district.

Abdul Ghani Morijo, a date trader, said, “Dates are exported in large quantities, with Aseel being the most popular one. The kind of land that we have [in the country] is good for growing these dates.”

The month of July brings colour to the hundreds of date orchards in the district. Date farms span over 120,000 acres of land in Khairpur.

It is the favourite time of the year for local growers as well as daily-wage labourers since date farming, from the harvest to delivery to markets, brings ample employment opportunities.

Meanwhile, the district administration also organises dates festivals to promote sales. Dates exhibited and sold at these festivals include the Aseel, Karblain, Kapra, Tota. Such festivals and seminars are also used by growers as a platform to share their problems and grievances, said Khairpur DCO Muhammad Abbas Baloch.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 1st, 2010.


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