KP to have quality fruit plant nursery to boost peach production

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The Board of Investment (BOI) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Department of Agriculture are going to establish a state-of-the-art “Quality Fruit Plant Nursery” for the production of peach on a large scale to boost its export, WealthPK reported.

The estimated cost of the project is Rs2.463 billion which has been completed in two phases in Upper Dir and Swat in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province.

A BOI official told WealthPK that the project is amid at processing and preserving fruits and vegetables in a proper nursery so that the variety of production and exports of fruit can be increased. For shoot production, a feasibility report has been prepared in which different concentrations (0.3, 0.6, 0.9 mg l-1) of peach ha ve been analysed. Applications are being sought from both local and international investors.

Preferred mood of investment in the project is set up on the basis of public-private partnership (PPP). Abid Kamal, Deputy Director of Bureau of Agriculture Information, told WealthPK that different types of roots have been used for peaches in the world. He said GF 677 (rootstock peach/nectarine) is a potential root and under Pakistani soil conditions, its yield is very productive.

The GF 677 is considered to be a rootstock for calcareous and high pH soil conditions because it is resistant to calcium induced iron chlorosis and useful in replant situations to avoid replant disease syndrome. It is resistant to peach rust, crown gall, root knot, and is more vigorous than peach seedling rootstocks. Fruit yield, average fruit weight and fruit quality are higher in trees on GF 677. However, GF 677 cannot be propagated through seed, being a hybrid. Abid Kamal said there is immense need of Quality Fruit Plant Nursery because the demand for peach plants grafted on GF 677 may not be met by conventional multiplication of this rootstock.

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