Pakistan is one of the top date producers and exporters in the world, with annual date production of more than 535,000 tons, according to data from the Trade Development Authority. The main region for date cultivation is Khairpur district in southern Sindh province. Local farmers have already developed an interest in growing the foreign varieties.
One of the reasons for the growing interest was climate. However, one problem with dried dates from Kahirpur is that their main export destination is India.
Rustam Phulpoto, a representative of Khairpur’s KHajjoor Market, said by sticking to its native date types, Pakistan was not focusing on the value addition that the foreign varieties bring.
“This lack of value addition not only makes us import more but also limits our exports as well,” he told Arab News. Under the Sindh administration’s Agriculture Growth Project 2015-2020, the government was required to import 3,000 exotic date tissues and provide them to local farmers at 70 percent subsidized rates. But that did not happen.
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