GILGIT (ET): A recently initiated project aims to increase the quality and production of various fruits of Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B). “We have launched separate courses for apple, potato and apricot farming so farmers can better understand how to increase their yield,” said Muhammad Irfan, the project’s coordinator, while talking to journalists in Gilgit.
In this connection, renowned experts have been invited to train farmers in Ghizer, Gilgit, Hunza-Nagar and Bagrote – areas with comparatively better climatic conditions and potential for increased yield of fruits.
The project has been launched by Star Farm Pakistan, an agro-consultancy firm, with the support of USAID’s Small Grants and Ambassador’s Fund Programme, to improve quality and increase production of G-B’s key fruit species. “The soil here is fertile and best suited for mass production,” said Irfan, adding the produce can be increased considerably by helping farmers with technicalities.
Every year, a considerable volume of apple, potato and apricot is transported from G-B to other cities for export. However, a lack of modern techniques, incomplete utilisation of available resources and restricted market access are some of the obstacles farmers face in G-B.
The project would also help farmers improve packaging of fruits to link them with national and international markets. “We are sure this initiative will improve production as well as the economic condition of locals associated with farming,” said Irfan.