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Swati pomegranate getting popular in big cities

Swati pomegranate getting popular in big cities

MINGORA: The pomegranates of Swat are in high demand in the fruit markets in different big cities in the country, say local farmers.

They said that the pomegranates of Swat were popular due to its size, taste and colour. The fruit growers in Barikot said that the first produce of Swati pomegranates known as Anar-i-Saleh was introduced in the market.

They said that Swati pomegranates were in high demand in the fruit markets in Multan, Gujrawala, Lahore, Rawalpindi and other big cities. The first orchard of pomegranates was set up by Mohammad Parvez in Nawa Kallay village of Barikot.

“Four years ago, I decided to grow pomegranates on my lands because I wanted a change as peach, plum, apricot and other fruits are common here. I was not sure about the future of pomegranate in Swat but after four years I am happy that the pomegranates of my orchard are very sweet and delicious,” he told this scribe.

Agriculture department asked to encourage growers

His son Abubakar, who has been working as fruit grower and dealer for many years along with his father, said that Anar-i-Saleh was costlier as compared to other pomegranates owing to high demand in the market.

“Our pomegranates have high market value and are sold at Rs400 per kilogram owing to its size, colour and taste,” he said.

The local growers said that unlike peaches, plums and apricots, pomegranates required less labour, water and care but earned four times more than all other fruits.

“Other fruits like peaches, plums, apricots and apples get rotten soon while pomegranate having strong skin survives for long in the market. If growers in Swat try pomegranates on their land, it will be highly beneficial for them,” said Mr Parvez.

Momin Khan, a labourer, who was packing pomegranates, said that packing of pomegranates was also easier than peaches and other fruits.

Azharud Din, a tourist, who was buying pomegranates, said that government should encourage farmers to grow pomegranates in Swat on scientific basis.

“Above all, I have not tasted such a sweet pomegranate before this. The government and agriculture department should take interest in it and encourage farmers to grow this pomegranate on large scale,” he said, adding that the Swati pomegranate could compete with other fruits at international market.

Swat valley is known for producing high quality of peaches, apples, persimmons, apricots, plums and other fruits and provides more than 50 per cent peaches to the country market.

Published in Dawn, September 5th, 2017

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