Observer Report Islamabad
Pakistan’s value-added dates could have better prospects for export, said Tang Minmin, Associate researcher, Chinese Academy of Tropical Agricultural Sciences, according to Gwadar Pro.
In China, there’s a kind of Chinese date, which has developed a mature production model and increased the added value of products.
As Pakistani dates and Chinese dates show similarity in some ways, Chinese date’s marketing can be a good lesson for the Pakistani variety.
“For the Chinese date, value-added products like date concentrated juice, date vinegar, date jelly, oral liquid with a health care function, and Bordeaux, are gradually recognized by the market,” Tang said, adding that Pakistani dates producers can learn from Chinese expertise, and develop some high value-added products based on their dates’ characteristics.
High value-added products may be a way out. But apart from deep processing, Tang told Gwadar Pro that efficient cultivation and pest control are also potential areas for cooperation between the two countries, where Chinese scientific research institutions can provide technical support.
“We have some technical skills especially in deep processing and pests control, and for Pakistan, there’s space for improvement in these regards. We have signed an agreement with the University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.
The agreement focuses on date research and platform building, under which a 100-mu(7 hectares) demonstration farm was built to carry out comprehensive control of pests,” Tang said.
“We have 4-5 types of dates. In them, Aseel is on the top. We have Karbala. There is one from Kurma Zaidi, Iran. We also have Chuwara. It is also made of Aseel.
The date of this area is the best,” Sajjad Ahmed, a dates shopkeeper in Khairpur, told Gwadar Pro. Sajjad’s hometown, Khairpur district in southern Sindh province, is the main region for date cultivation in Pakistan.
Especially in the months of Shaban and Ramadan, Aseel date, the most famous date of Pakistan, is transported everywhere throughout Pakistan from here.