The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) under the project’ Reversing deforestation and forest degradation in high conservation value chilogoza pine forest in Pakistan’ inaugurated pine nut (chilgoza) processing unit in Diamer district of Gilgit Baltistan here on Tuesday. The project was funded by the Global Environment Fund and implemented under the oversight of the Ministry of Climate Change, said a press release.
‘The project is additionally contributing 23 million trees to the Ten Billion Trees Programme of MoCC.’ In Diamer district, the chilgoza pine forest covers an area of around 18,000 hectares. The project has involved the local community within the conservation and protection of forests while adding value chain development as well. Since the key issue faced by the local community was the lack of access to chilgoza processing unit, FAO through the project, installed a chilgoza processing unit at Chilas covering chilgoza cleaning, grading, roasting, packing and labelling.
Speaking on the occasion, Country Representative of FAO, Mina Dowlatchahi highlighted the significance of such unit to ensure more benefits arising from natural resources management. She stated that for the first time in Diamer district, the local people will be able to process their harvest in one place from grading to packaging and labelling, with the full process and hence obtain a higher price on the market compared to selling cones or unroasted nuts.