The mango may be Pakistan’s well-known fruit heavyweight, but the peach is certainly well represented, at least in the country’s northern and northwestern regions.
Although these peaches currently cater to a rather niche local market, experts and growers believe there is a huge market for the fruit beyond Pakistan, particularly in the Gulf countries. The only thing holding Pakistani peaches back from glory in the international market, according to them, is the lack of a proper export policy and government support.
Peaches, in Pakistan, are predominantly cultivated in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan, particularly the Peshawar, Quetta, Swat, Chitral, Malakand and Kalat districts. The fruit usually starts ripening in May and continues to do so until the first week of September.
In K-P, a total of 6,330 hectares are dedicated to growing the fruit. Between 2013 and 2014, the province alone produced 36,155 tons of peaches.
According to a report by the Crop Reporting Service of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Swat produced 5,280 tons of peaches in 2018-2019, whereas Peshawar produced 1,066 tons, Mardan 2,825 tons, Malakand 1,190 tons, Lower Dir 1,033 tons, Buner 3,105 tons and Upper Dir 1,917 tons. Total production from the tribal district stood at 3,374 tons.