By Suleman Hashim 

 

At least 114 different kinds of dates are produced in Makran Coast, according to the local farmers.

A date palm exhibition was held in PC Hotel, Gwadar, last week on Sunday by the Trade Development Authority, Pakistan(TDAP) to showcase the Makran date produce. A large number of local farmers and investors attended the exhibition.

Approximately 114 different types of dates are produced in the coastal areas of Baluchistan. The date farmers try to produce better quality dates despite facing many problems including the lack of resources.

Due to lack of resources and latest techniques, Makran’s dates are hardly exported up to its potential.

According to the official statistics, Makran division produces 127 metric tons of dates annually. Pakistan’s annual date exports to US, France and Germany are worth 100 million US dollars.

Local farmers expect that it would be easier to export Makran’s date produce with the Gwadar port becoming functional.

Trade Development Authority, Pakistan is providing help to local farmers for increasing the date production and effective marketing.

With Gwadar Port becoming operational, the farmers are hopeful that it would help them export local dates easily to other countries.

The farmers showcased different kinds of dates on their stalls during the one-day exhibition. The guests savoured the dates and appreciated the peculiar taste of Makran Coast produce.

Despite having a uniquely delicious taste, the local dates are exported in lesser quality.

Date chocolate, paste and other date related products were also displayed in the exhibition.

The main objective of this exhibition was to introduce the latest machinery, better packaging and educate the local farmers about marketing skills.

Dr Mohammad Abbas Abdro of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council and Scientist Farooq Khan shared their thoughts during the exhibition. They emphasized the importance of trying new and scientific ways of cleaning and drying the dates.

According to the Trade Development Authority, another exhibition will be held in Karachi on 25 August this year, where the Makran’s date farmers will be provided an opportunity to showcase local date produce.

The writer works as a citizen journalist for Pak Voices from Gwadar. 

Translated by Tariq Mehmood 

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