By Ilyas Raees
Most of you love to eat Iranian dates but only a few people would know that dates from Panjgur, Balochistan are no way less tasty than the Iranian one. Especially, the ‘Mozati’ dates are delicious and are in high demand abroad.
These dates are not cultivated anywhere else in Pakistan except Panjgur because it needs special climate i.e temperature and humidity to grow and bear fruit.
A local date farmer Mohammad Jan told PakVoices, “Initially it used to be cultivated only in the gardens of the rich landlords since everyone couldn’t afford to cultivate such expensive trees.”
Due to this background, even today these unique dates are famous as the rich man’s fruit.
However, with the passage of time when the dates demand grew, every farmer started planting Mozati date trees in their gardens.
Sagheer Ahmed, who has his own date farm, said, “Mozati dates are high in demand both inside Pakistan and abroad. But when it is sold no one labels it as a product of Panjgur, rather it is branded as an Iranian product.”
Dil Murad, a date farm worker in Panjgur spoke to Pak Voices, “We work all round the year to produce delicious dates, but the middleman reaps the real profit. He buys it from us from 70 RS to 90 RS per Kilogram and sells it in Quetta and Karachi from 300 RS to 400 RS per KG.”
Sagheer Ahmed adds, “Several tons of Mozati dates get wasted for non-availability of cold stores. The government should cooperate with the date farmers in this regard.”
Ilyas Raees works with PakVoices as a citizen journalist from Punjgur, Balochistan.
Translated by Tariq Mehmood