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Hunza Nagar to export 28 tons of dried apricot to Japan

Hunza Nagar to export 28 tons of dried apricot to Japan

ISLAMABAD: By the end of the year Hunza Nagar, also known as “Pakistan’s organic village”, plans to export around 28 tons of dried apricot to Japan.

This has become possible due to a Japan-assisted project which promoted and encouraged value addition in the fruit and farming sector in Gilgit Baltistan. Dried fruits are shipped under sanitary conditions and are in great demand at high-end retailers in Japan. The four-year project largely focuses on the apple- and apricot-producing districts of Hunza Nagar and Baltistan where farmers have been facing difficulties in collecting, processing, grading and marketing agricultural produce. \

According to Amir Abbas Bokhari, the programme officer at the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), this is the first time that Hunza Nagar, widely known as the “hidden paradise”, has begun exporting dried fruit on such a large scale. Previously, he added, the area used to get orders of less than 10 tons. Fresh and dried fruits from Hunza Nagar are becoming popular because people of the area cultivate fruits using snowmelt streams from surrounding mountains without using agricultural chemicals or chemical fertilisers.

The Japanese government thr­ou­gh JICA launched the project for the promotion of value-added fruit products in Gilgit Baltistan in 2012 with the goal of increasing the income of local farmers.

Published in Dawn, October 14th , 2015

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