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Dates Production in Pakistan

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Dates Production in Pakistan

Pakistan is the only country in South Asia which grows dates on commercial scale. Pakistan produces a large variety of fruits and vegetables almost round the Year. Date production in Pakistan ranks third in fruits and same is the case in case of Exports. . It is one of the largest commercial fruit of Pakistan. The harvesting season for dates starts in July and runs until September.

Date Growing Areas of Pakistan:

Dates are grown in all the four provinces of Pakistan over an area of about 75,000 Hectors.

· Khairpur /Sukkur in Sindh ,

· Turbat /Panjgur in Balochistan, ,

· D I Khan in KPK, and

· Muzaffar Garh & Jhang in Punjab.

Sindh is the largest date producing province followed by Baluchistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Annual Dates Production of Pakistan:

The annual production of dates in Pakistan is estimated to be between 550,000 to 650,000 metric tons (MT). Sindh contributes around 50 percent of dates produced in Pakistan of which 90 percent comes from the date palms of Khairpur Mirs. Pakistan falls in such an agro-ecological region where dates can grow on a large scale with superior quality.

Dates Varieties of Pakistan

There are more than 160 varieties of dates palm in the country, among them the popular varieties are: Aseel, Zahidi, Fasli, Maazwati, Dhakki, Kharbalian, Begum Jangi, Dagh, Goakna, Tota, Karwan, Hillavi, Khudrawi and Mozawati Gulistan, Jowansur, Lango, Sabzo, Kharuba, Karbala, and Kupro. Aseel of Khairpur, Dhakki of D.I.Kkan and Begum Jangi of Mekran are best of all varieties of dates grown in Pakistan in terms of demand and popularity due to their exotic taste. These varieties have surpassed by none and are matched with Deglet Nour, Zahidi and few others of world most popular dates. Out of these varieties, Sindh contributes around 50% of dates produced in Pakistan.

Province wise Varieties -Fresh & Dried Dates

Pakistan’s commercially important date varieties include

· Aseel, Karbala, Fasli and Kupro of Sindh;

· Muzawati, Begum Jangi, Japan, Swore, Kehraba and Rabai of Balochistan;

· Dhakki and Gulistan of KPK.

Khairpur, Turbat (Makran), and D.I. Khan are major date growing regions in the country.

Global Dates Producers and Pakistan’s standing:

Pakistan follows Iran, Egypt, Iraq and Saudi Arabia on the list of the top dates producing countries in the world with around 11 per cent share of the global production of this fruit. Several varieties are similar to those cultivated in Iraq, Iran and the Gulf countries like Hillawi, Zahdi, Shakeri, Basri etc. Pakistan, especially Sindh is blessed as a major grower and exporter of dates due to its soil and season. Pakistan is the fifth largest date producer as well as fifth largest exporter in the world.

Pakistan Dates Exports

Dates are exported in two forms as either fresh dates or dried dates. Fresh dates are exported to the USA, Canada, France, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Malaysia, Germany etc. and UAE while 90% of dried dates are exported to India via Lahore. Around 95% of the export consists of dried dates and only about 5% is exported in the form of pasteurized fresh dates, which is less than even 1% of the total date production in the country. Over the years, Pakistan has gained significant strength concerning dried dates. India and Bangladesh are two largest importers of Pakistani dry dates. Pakistani dates have a huge national and international market demand

Opportunities for Pakistan in Dates Production?

Although Pakistan currently stands at fifth position in dates producing countries, it can easily improve its position and production by improving farm management, pre-harvesting, harvesting and post harvesting practices. Pakistan has the capacity to supply fully processed high quality dates in various styles, shapes and forms, which include pitted/ un-pitted whole dates, pressed date bricks, date chops, date paste in bulk as well as ready-to distribute small boxes/jars. Importers in other countries continue to buy Pakistani dates only to add value and then re-export. This is value being missed by the country's agri-value chain. Dry dates dominate in the country's exports because of high demand in India. However fresh dates fetch better prices, globally. Through the government support, in the form of financing and date farm infrastructure development, Pakistani dates can fetch handsome foreign exchange.

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The Dried Dates Of Dhaki

Dates are a famous produce of Dera Ismail Khan. Dhaki, a small village in this northwestern Pakistani region, is known for its chuara -- dry palm dates with hardened skin. These dates are distinguished by their distinct flavor and are considered a concentrated source of nutrients. Photographer Sa'adia Khan recently traveled to Dhaki to document how the dates there are grown and processed.


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1 The view of a date plantation in Dhaki, Dera Ismail Khan. The region's hot climate in Pakistan's northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province supports date production. Some 100 plantations the region produce 90,000 kilograms of dates annually.

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2 A date tree comes of age at three years and begins to bear fruit. It reaches its peak at 15 years.

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3 A date tree at a plantation that has reached its peak for bearing fruit.

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4 Dhaki dates are comparatively larger in size and yellow in coloring when they are ripe and harvested. The harvesting process continues for 15 days, relying on adequate weather conditions in August.


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5. Once the date branches have been removed from the tree, they are transported to the area where they will be removed from the branch. This is done by shaking the branch vigorously.


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6. Ijaz-Ullah, a resident of neighboring Mianwali district, scoops the ripened dates into a basket, ready to be cooked.

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7. Baskets full of dates to be cooked in a giant wok, fueled by firewood to an optimum temperature for the process.

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8. Dates are cooked in a giant wok, which is embedded in a makeshift furnace. The cook, Mohammad Nazir, has traveled from Kashmore, a town in Pakistan's southern Sindh Province. He is a specialist date cook and is paid $20 per day. A measured amount of sodium bicarbonate is added to the wok.
 
I have never tasted Pakistani dates. Don't think we get them in the UK.

Actually I did have one ramadan in Pakistan. I bet the dates were local, not imported.
 
GNS Pakistan

Intercropping-of-rice-with-date-palm-trees-at-Khairpur.png


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Date palm is one of the oldest plants cultivated by man and its origin is thought to be Mesopotamia (Iraq), Gulf region or Indus Civilization. The presence of date fruits in the excavation of Mohenjo-Daro storage vases indicates the presence of date palm cultivation in Sindh as early as 2000 B.C

Dates (Fresh or Dried) are a very nutritious and delicious fruit containing mainly carbohydrates and several types of sugars but also proteins, vitamins, and minerals. A kilogram of dates contains 2500-3000 calories. In Pakistan dates are called Khajoor, Khaji or Kharikoon. Dates have many health benefits for humans and are perceived as prevention to many diseases.

We are leading exporters suppliers of best quality Dates from Pakistan. We trade (export) and deal in all types (varieties) of Pakistani Dates in different forms and shapes (fresh, dried, semi dried, whole, pitted, diced, chopped, decapped, paste, macerated and block pressed).

We are the first choice of International Dates Buyers. Dates grown in the Pakistani Farms then selected, pitted and processed by GNS Pakistan at its ISO Certified Factory are marketed all over the world. GNS Pakistan being a leading export house offers Pitted Dates, Fresh Dates, Soft Dates stuffed with nuts, Processed Dates, Diced Dates, Block Pressed Dates, Dried Dates Choharay and all other products of Dates.


Our Operational & Production Base

We are based in Pakistan having export, import & trading office in Karachi and dates farms and processing plant is located at Khairpur District.


Our Advantageous Position & Competitive Edge

GNS Pakistan has an advantageous position and competitive edge in Dates Markets due to its strong foothold and inherited presence in the major dates producing area being sponsored by native residents of Therhi Town, District Khairpur, Sindh Province, Pakistan.

Pakistan is rich in producing dates of different varieties and ranks at world's fourth largest dates producing country. Pakistani Dates are very famous for flavored taste, softness and sweetness. Dates palms are cultivated in all the four provinces of Pakistan i.e. Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). Among all provinces Sindh and Baluchistan are the leading provinces in producing multiple varieties of Dates.

Dates Producing District & Provinces of Pakistan

Balochistan: Turbat and Panjgoor
Sindh: Khairpur and Sukkur
Punjab: Muzaffargarh, D.G Khan & Jhang
KP: D.I. Khan

Types (varieties) of Pakistani Dates

Over 250 varieties of Dates are cultivated in Pakistan over an area more than 76,900 hectares, these include:
Aseel, Shakri, Bhedir, Kharbala'en, Thothar, Fasli of Sindh;
Begum Jungi, Shakri, Muzawati, Alini, Sabzo, Ape-Dandan, hussaini, Chapshuk, Kahraba of Balochistan;
Dhakki, Azadi, Gulistan, Muscat, Shakri of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; and
Hillavi, Khudrawi, Shamran, Zahidi and Ziri of Punjab.

Aseel has always been awarded as an excellent variety among all the Pakistani Dates in the international dates market.


Main Pakistani Dates Varieties:


Province wise details of main varieties are mentioned below:


Sindh Province:

- Aseel or Asil Dates are superior quality dates produced mainly in Khairpur and Sukkur (Sindh). These are radish and dark brown with more stuff (flash) and long shelf life. Best in sweet taste and enriched with energy value.
- Fasli also comes from Sukkur and Khairpur and adjoining areas. Fasli is mainly categorized as Industrial Grade Dates because of its size, shape, shorter shelf life and other characteristics.


Baluchistan Province:

- Begum Jangi (BJ) Dates is the premier quality dates variety of Baluchistan Province. District Panjgoor and Turbat are the major producers of this variety. BJ dates are identical in look and shape with Aseel but are smaller in the size with low level of moisture contents.
- Khahraba (Carba) Dates are of smaller size but sweeter and have lower moisture level. These Dates comes from Panjgoor & Mushkay areas of Baluchistan Province during September 22 to October 31.
- Rabbi or Baluchistan Rabbi (BR) Dates are also grown in Mashkail area of Baluchistan

Punjab Province:

- Halawi is produced in Muzaffargarh, D.G Khan & Jhang; the districts of Punjab Province. This type of Dates is sweet, sticky, semi-soft and moist. It is higher on the sweetness scale than many other dates, with a caramel color and undertone.
- Zahidi is also from dates growing areas of Punjab bieng semi-dry and less intense than some varieties, but still on the sweet side.

KPK Province:

- Dhakki Dates of Dera Ismail Khan, KPK Province has also a specific market due to its unique taste and size.


Our Dates Products

Our Dates Products are in different forms, shapes, sizes, grades and brands. We have a wide range of Dates Products produced at our processing plant (factory). Our main products are as follows:

- Pitted Dates
- Diced / Chopped Dates
- Decapped Dates
- Dates Paste
- Macerated Dates
- Block Pressed Dates
- Stuffed Dates with Nuts (Almond, Pistachio, Walnuts, Peanuts)

We offer our best quality dates and products in bulk quantities to wholesale buyers / traders / manufacturers of both local and international markets.

Our Dates Processing Plant

Our Dates Processing Plant (Factory) is located at Therhi Town of District Khairpur, Sindh, Pakistan. The dates selected for processing are graded or categorized as FAQ, GAQ, Industrial, High, A, B, C, Grades / Categories. The plant is equipped with modern technology and fully automatic metal detection scanning machines. The processing plant is ISO certified by a reputable and renowned inspection firm. Besides our products are also Kosher & Halal certified. We have implemented HACCP in our production facilities. The factory is staffed by skilled people (men and women) work force operating with hygienic method while treating dates in different processes.

fbbb4ae519c22601f87eca29648c7428.jpg
 
GNS Pakistan

Intercropping-of-rice-with-date-palm-trees-at-Khairpur.png


.
Date palm is one of the oldest plants cultivated by man and its origin is thought to be Mesopotamia (Iraq), Gulf region or Indus Civilization. The presence of date fruits in the excavation of Mohenjo-Daro storage vases indicates the presence of date palm cultivation in Sindh as early as 2000 B.C

Dates (Fresh or Dried) are a very nutritious and delicious fruit containing mainly carbohydrates and several types of sugars but also proteins, vitamins, and minerals. A kilogram of dates contains 2500-3000 calories. In Pakistan dates are called Khajoor, Khaji or Kharikoon. Dates have many health benefits for humans and are perceived as prevention to many diseases.

We are leading exporters suppliers of best quality Dates from Pakistan. We trade (export) and deal in all types (varieties) of Pakistani Dates in different forms and shapes (fresh, dried, semi dried, whole, pitted, diced, chopped, decapped, paste, macerated and block pressed).

We are the first choice of International Dates Buyers. Dates grown in the Pakistani Farms then selected, pitted and processed by GNS Pakistan at its ISO Certified Factory are marketed all over the world. GNS Pakistan being a leading export house offers Pitted Dates, Fresh Dates, Soft Dates stuffed with nuts, Processed Dates, Diced Dates, Block Pressed Dates, Dried Dates Choharay and all other products of Dates.


Our Operational & Production Base

We are based in Pakistan having export, import & trading office in Karachi and dates farms and processing plant is located at Khairpur District.


Our Advantageous Position & Competitive Edge

GNS Pakistan has an advantageous position and competitive edge in Dates Markets due to its strong foothold and inherited presence in the major dates producing area being sponsored by native residents of Therhi Town, District Khairpur, Sindh Province, Pakistan.

Pakistan is rich in producing dates of different varieties and ranks at world's fourth largest dates producing country. Pakistani Dates are very famous for flavored taste, softness and sweetness. Dates palms are cultivated in all the four provinces of Pakistan i.e. Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). Among all provinces Sindh and Baluchistan are the leading provinces in producing multiple varieties of Dates.

Dates Producing District & Provinces of Pakistan

Balochistan: Turbat and Panjgoor
Sindh: Khairpur and Sukkur
Punjab: Muzaffargarh, D.G Khan & Jhang
KP: D.I. Khan

Types (varieties) of Pakistani Dates

Over 250 varieties of Dates are cultivated in Pakistan over an area more than 76,900 hectares, these include:
Aseel, Shakri, Bhedir, Kharbala'en, Thothar, Fasli of Sindh;
Begum Jungi, Shakri, Muzawati, Alini, Sabzo, Ape-Dandan, hussaini, Chapshuk, Kahraba of Balochistan;
Dhakki, Azadi, Gulistan, Muscat, Shakri of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa; and
Hillavi, Khudrawi, Shamran, Zahidi and Ziri of Punjab.

Aseel has always been awarded as an excellent variety among all the Pakistani Dates in the international dates market.


Main Pakistani Dates Varieties:


Province wise details of main varieties are mentioned below:


Sindh Province:

- Aseel or Asil Dates are superior quality dates produced mainly in Khairpur and Sukkur (Sindh). These are radish and dark brown with more stuff (flash) and long shelf life. Best in sweet taste and enriched with energy value.
- Fasli also comes from Sukkur and Khairpur and adjoining areas. Fasli is mainly categorized as Industrial Grade Dates because of its size, shape, shorter shelf life and other characteristics.


Baluchistan Province:

- Begum Jangi (BJ) Dates is the premier quality dates variety of Baluchistan Province. District Panjgoor and Turbat are the major producers of this variety. BJ dates are identical in look and shape with Aseel but are smaller in the size with low level of moisture contents.
- Khahraba (Carba) Dates are of smaller size but sweeter and have lower moisture level. These Dates comes from Panjgoor & Mushkay areas of Baluchistan Province during September 22 to October 31.
- Rabbi or Baluchistan Rabbi (BR) Dates are also grown in Mashkail area of Baluchistan

Punjab Province:

- Halawi is produced in Muzaffargarh, D.G Khan & Jhang; the districts of Punjab Province. This type of Dates is sweet, sticky, semi-soft and moist. It is higher on the sweetness scale than many other dates, with a caramel color and undertone.
- Zahidi is also from dates growing areas of Punjab bieng semi-dry and less intense than some varieties, but still on the sweet side.

KPK Province:

- Dhakki Dates of Dera Ismail Khan, KPK Province has also a specific market due to its unique taste and size.


Our Dates Products

Our Dates Products are in different forms, shapes, sizes, grades and brands. We have a wide range of Dates Products produced at our processing plant (factory). Our main products are as follows:

- Pitted Dates
- Diced / Chopped Dates
- Decapped Dates
- Dates Paste
- Macerated Dates
- Block Pressed Dates
- Stuffed Dates with Nuts (Almond, Pistachio, Walnuts, Peanuts)

We offer our best quality dates and products in bulk quantities to wholesale buyers / traders / manufacturers of both local and international markets.

Our Dates Processing Plant

Our Dates Processing Plant (Factory) is located at Therhi Town of District Khairpur, Sindh, Pakistan. The dates selected for processing are graded or categorized as FAQ, GAQ, Industrial, High, A, B, C, Grades / Categories. The plant is equipped with modern technology and fully automatic metal detection scanning machines. The processing plant is ISO certified by a reputable and renowned inspection firm. Besides our products are also Kosher & Halal certified. We have implemented HACCP in our production facilities. The factory is staffed by skilled people (men and women) work force operating with hygienic method while treating dates in different processes.

fbbb4ae519c22601f87eca29648c7428.jpg


Nice work, thanks for sharing. We have lots land available in Balochistan, Government should encourage farmers to increase data production.

We also need to increase olive production and export.
 
I have never tasted Pakistani dates. Don't think we get them in the UK.
Description

Organic Aseel dates (pitted) are great in baking recipes.

Organic Aseel Dates are another of nature's sweets, they provide instant energy and a range of nutrients. Organic Aseel Dates are classified as semi-dry, they have dark brown skin and an oval shape. If you soak them first you can use them in the same way as soft dates like the medjool or semi-soft varieties like our deglet nours.

Aseel dates have a lovely sweet taste and rich flavour so they go really well in a variety of baking recipes and as they are so sweet naturally there is never any need to add refined sugar to the mix.

Origin: Pakistan

https://www.forestwholefoods.co.uk/product/organic-aseel-dates/

organic_aseel_dates_1kg-1.png


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Aseel-Dates-Aseel -Dry-Dates-Asia-Foods-International
 
The city of Khairpur in Sindh province of Pakistan is famous for its Aseel dates.
beautiful pictures by Obaid Chawla..


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Khairpur’s story of dates and the SEZ




Mohammad Hussain Khan
January 25, 2021




This region attracts a large number of workers from Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan every production season that usually coincides with monsoon rains that undermine date production.


This region attracts a large number of workers from Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan every production season that usually coincides with monsoon rains that undermine date production.



The oppressive heat of summer over June-July makes weather conditions unbearable but it is an ideal period for the ripening of fruits, such as dates. Rows of date palm trees in orchards start dotting the landscape while one travels on the National Highway as Khairpur draws near. Coupled with mango and guava orchards, date palm trees make Khairpur a rich and diversified district in an agricultural sense.

This region attracts a large number of workers from Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan every production season that usually coincides with monsoon rains that undermine date production.
The district, located on the left bank of River Indus, has been a princely state before the then elders of Mirs decided to accede to Pakistan in 1955, after the division of the Indian subcontinent. It has eight revenue talukas that reflects the huge size of the district; few districts in Sindh compete with Khairpur in size. Its people take pride in having the shrine of Sachal Sarmast which defines the region’s mystic character.


It is the home of Pirs who are the custodians of the shrine of Syed Mohammad Rashid Shah or Rozi Dhani. Pir Sibghatullah Shah Rashdi donned the mantle of custodianship after the death of his father, Shah Mardan Shah and spiritual leader of Hurs.

Also known as Khairpur Mirs, the city was founded by Mir Sohrab Khan Talpur in 1783. He had chosen the area to serve as the capital of the Khairpur branch of Talpurs who once ruled Sindh after Kalhoros.

The Kot Diji fort — built by Talpurs 25km south of Khairpur atop a hill and the majestic Faiz Mahal are marvels of Khairpur. Sheesh Mahal is another architectural masterpiece that exists here.


‘Despite being the fifth largest date producer in the world, Pakistan is featured nowhere in the international market because our fruit lack value and branding’
The district is blessed with a sanctuary — popularly known as Mehrano — built by Mir Sohrab Khan Talpur. The sanctuary has forest, agriculture land, lakes, desert habitat, deers, pigs etc. Mehrano is a treat to visit for any visitor.

Insofar as politics is concerned, Rashdis, Jillanis, Bhanbhans, Wassans, Phulpotos and other smaller families matter in Khairpur that has produced two chief ministers — Syed Ghaus Ali Shah and his friend Syed Qaim Ali Shah.

Khairpur contributes to the natural resource of gas to Pakistan. Other than that sugarcane, cotton and wheat are rabi and kharif crops. Two sugar factories have been set up there. Wheat’s acreage of 100,000ha plus remains intact every year but cotton’s acreage fluctuates. All green veggies are grown in Khairpur. Among fruits, guava (4,000ha plus acreage), mangoes (5,000ha plus acreage) are holding ground. Date palm acreage remains consistent at over 33,000ha annually.

In irrigation’s sense, Khairpur has two off-taking canals — Khairpur Feeder (East) and Khairpur Feeder (West) — to feed its rich farm sector. These channels emanate from Sukkur barrage on its left side and have some of the oldest canal and branch structures in irrigation fields.

The eastern channel with a designed discharge of 2,094 cusecs has a gross command area (GCA) of 324,361 acres while the western channel has a GCA of 530,764 acres with a designed discharge of 1,940 cusecs. The eastern and western feeders GCA area is 351,127 acres and 321,968 acres respectively.

“Given the need for irrigation water in a district as big as Khairpur, the channels require de-silting. The length of around two RDs (reduced distance) serves as a common bank for the Rohri canal Khairpur feeder east, causing seepage from the Rohri canal. It needs lining,” said the superintending engineer for the two Khairpur feeders, Javed Hakeem Memon.

The former Talpurs’ state until the inception of Pakistan, Khairpur is undoubtedly Sindh’s city of date production thanks to its suitable climate conditions. Date palms are grown in Sukkur and Naushahro Feroz though on a lesser scale.

Pakistan is one of the largest date producers in the world, ranking fifth among date producing countries. Pakistan’s share in the world’s date production is assessed at 7 per cent as per the Pakistan Agriculture Research Council figures. Of Pakistan’s total estimated date production of around 0.55 million tones to 0.65m tonnes, Sindh contributes around 0.28m to 0.30m tones. Within Sindh, 85pc of production comes from Khairpur.

Aseel is the largely grown variety of date besides karbalain, kuppro etc. Like mangoes, date palm orchards are let out to contractors by growers. With favourable weather, each tree can produce 100-120kg of dates (aseel and karblain variety) including 45kg of soft dates if no rain damages the crop.

“The entire quantity is otherwise processed as chuhara which is exported to India only where it is used in religious rituals. Now exports to India are banned. The dry dates or chuhara are going to India via Dubai,” says Qasim Jaskani, a progressive date grower from Khairpur. He believes only a nominal quantity of fresh dates is exported, for it is considered inferior and can’t compete with varieties like Jordan’s high-value majool in the international market.

“We hardly produce 10pc of soft dates because orchard owners are always keen to pluck dates to avoid losses from rain and convert it into chuhara,” Mr Jaskani adds. Sindh’s soft dates are sold in the local market and aseel is used mostly in the industrial sector.

Dates were covered as one of the components in the World Bank-funded multi-billion rupees Sindh Agriculture Growth Project (SAGP) which was to support the date palm sector. The SAGP project director refers to the party evaluation report, claiming growth in date production. Mr Jaskani disputes him, saying the date component revolved around mat distribution sans any qualitative research-oriented initiatives, which are otherwise badly needed.

“We live in a market-economy era where everyone looks for brands and our fruit lacks value. We need high-value table fruits like others to claim space in the international market. Unfortunately, we feature nowhere despite being the fifth largest date producer,” he regrets.

After the federal government passed the Special Economic Zone Act in 2012, Khairpur got the status of the first Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Sindh, nay Pakistan.

Historically, it was a Rs1 billion scheme until 2009 but later the size of the investment was increased to Rs2.17bn when Sindh decided to execute it. Geographically, the Khairpur SEZ is set up at a point where Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan borders are easily approachable. Spreading over 141 acres it is still a small SEZ when compared with Punjab. The actual saleable area is 90 acres thus it needs expansion to give a further boost to economic activities and to accommodate more entrepreneurs and bring investment.

While only two units have started working, over a dozen or so projects are under construction. Three to four units are to start functioning by mid-2021. Sponsors of pending projects include a Korean investor, who will be shifting his investment from Bangladesh to Khairpur SEZ for his garment unit.

Another Korean investor has applied for a plot to set up a business. Cold storage was established by a firm but it had been abandoned due to operational issues while work on a dates dehydration plant on four acres of land by the same organisation could not be executed. A guava fruit processing and pulp extraction plant will be ready by April and a poultry feed processing unit will start working by May.

The Sindh Enterprise Development Fund (SEDF) is offering a loan mark-up subsidy of Rs250m for a date grading, storage, sorting and dehydration plant and a Rs70m state-of-art extraction plant in Khairpur SEZ for which machinery is being procured from Italy says SEDF’s managing director Mehboobul Haq.

Still, Khairpur SEZ faces some issues with federal power and petroleum ministries due to the friction between federal and Sindh governments. The Sukkur Electric Supply Company (Sepco) is unable to enhance energy load for SEZ to 5MW for which Rs73m cost was paid in 2015.

“The Sepco hierarchy tells us their system can’t keep pace and does not have the capacity to provide operation and maintenance for the latest state-of-art underground electric supply distribution system constructed in the SEZ. So, only 400kW are given”, said CEO SEZ Managing Committee Azeem Uqaili.

The Khairpur SEZ’s management has urged Sepco to enhance power supply load to 2MW but the utility wants management to erect old overhead distribution lines which is not only impossible but also redundant. Instead, Sepco needs to enhance its capacity to handle the underground network which would be more efficient. The Sindh government has spent Rs400m on an advanced underground electric supply system within the SEZ.

The Sindh government has paid Rs195m for a 3.5m cubic feet per day (mmcfd) natural gas connection for industrial use in the SEZ. Project Director Altaf Chachar said Khairpur’s gas contribution in the country’s total gas production is around 340mmcfd whereas KSEZ needs 3.5mmcfd which is just a small fraction of total gas produced in the area. The laying of gas pipelines has been under construction for months and needs to be completed by the Sui Southern Gas Company as more industrial units require this utility, he added.

Khairpur’s share in projected cattle population (cow and buffaloes) of Sindh in 2018 is assessed at 7.41pc while that of goats and sheep 5.71pc.

In terms of surface water quality analysis, 71.4pc of samples were found to be unsafe in Khairpur city alone during analysis conducted under orders of Supreme Court-mandated judicial commission in 2017. In a groundwater quality analysis of 2014 conducted by Dr Murtaza Arain of the Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources, 55.6pc of 410 samples had bacteriological contamination.



Published in Dawn, The Business and Finance Weekly, January 25th, 2021
 
TDAP begins dates diplomacy


23 Feb 2021


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KARACHI: In order to explore new and potential markets for Pakistani dates and improve the connectivity between buyers and sellers of dates in the international marketplace, the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan has started Dates Diplomacy & Promotional Campaign through various diplomatic and commercial missions abroad.

Under this campaign TDAP will dispatch the samples of different varieties of Pakistani dates along with the marketing brochure indicating the key information of shipped varieties and particulars of top dates exporters of Pakistan for onward distribution among the potential buyers of dates and others who matter in the decision making for buying the product.

Besides, the Pakistani Dates Testing Events will also be held in major super markets of their host countries to promote the Pakistani dates as a table fruit while currently our dates are mostly used for industrial purpose in different international markets.

The success in TDAP’s Dates Diplomacy & Promotional Campaign will bring a positive change in Dates sector of Pakistan and we will be able to get more potential international markets rather than one traditional market of India, as market diversification is first and foremost intervention required in Dates sector of Pakistan after trade closure with India.


Copyright Business Recorder, 2021
 
Pakistan is the world’s fifth-largest producer of dates.

Spread out over 75,000 acres, more than 50 percent of dates are produced in the province of Sindh. Within Sindh, 85% of production comes from Khairpur.

Khaipur’s dates are in high demand both in local & international markets. During the 2019-20 season, Pakistan exported $107.4 million worth of fresh & dried dates to many countries, including the U.S.
 
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