In Pakistan’s Shangla District -Malakand Division, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province- the production of persimmons has increased in Shangla during the last few years. The growing number of persimmon orchards on the road leading from Alpuri to Ranial present an attractive scene.
Muhammad Arif, owner of a plants nursery, said more people are taking interest in growing persimmons due to the increasing demand. Ziaul Haq, an orchard owner in Shahpur, said he sold his orchard fruit for Rs350,000 this year. He said the yield was better than last year despite some damage by hailstorm. He said many local farmers have switched from growing maize to persimmon orchards as it is more beneficial.
Ziaul Haq said there are two methods of growing persimmon orchards – it can be grown directly by bringing saplings from nursery, and the second method is to sow the seed of wild persimmon and then graft it when it grows for two years. He said the plants of grafting are even better than the farm plants.
Problems facing growers and traders
Bacha Hussain said dealers had to purchase orchard fruit in advance, but it they are unlucky, then bates attack the orchards and damage it which causes financial losses. He said no spray or medicine is available in market to ward off this threat. He said the agriculture experts must play their role in finding a solution to this problem.