Kiwifruit is newly introduced to Pakistan within the decade. Experts believe that such a high-value crop has great potential and can help more Pakistani farmers throw off poverty.
“We imported Kiwi plants and did various locational trials in KPK, Islamabad as well as on the Punjab side. The result from the Mansehra area of KPK was outstanding,” said Naveed Ahmed, Scientific Officer of PARC-NTHRI Shinkiari.
“Kiwi gets 30 kg to 35 kg of fruits per plant internationally, while Pakistani kiwi gets 40 kg to 45 kg of fruit production on average. Some plants even gave 100 kg of fruits per plant.” Naveed gave evidence proving Pakistan’s advantages in kiwi production industry.
“Our locally produced fruit is also sweeter. That is the reason that its value is high in markets.” Kiwi Farmer Ateeq ur Rehman added.
Chairman of PARC Dr. Ghulam Muhammad Ali encouraged farmers of Gilgit-Baltistan to focus on the research of kiwi fruit this year.
“We should spread awareness among people and motivate people to grow kiwi fruit, because, by looking at the demand of people for this fruit, this would be the most expensive fruit in the near future. All the people are showing interest in this fruit.”Naveed Ahmed said.
Kiwi is native to China, where kiwi plantation area and output rank first in the world. The Kiwi industry has helped a lot of Chinese counties get out of poverty.
“With improved planting technology and the use of order agriculture, fruit farmers’ income further increased. At present, our county kiwifruit planting area reached 28,800 hectares. The annual per capita net income of farmers reaches ¥16,000 (Rs510,000),” said Yang Yuan, Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the Agriculture and Rural Bureau of Zhouzhi County, an agricultural County of China known as the “kiwi hometown”. At present, more than 300,000 people in the county are engaged in kiwifruit-related industries.
In addition to using kiwifruit to get farmers out of poverty and boost the countryside’s economy, China is also discovering kiwi’s higher value with its organic farming experience.
“Our high-quality kiwis cost up to ¥20 each. We fertilize and improve the soil by applying sufficient quantities of thoroughly fermented free-range manure, coupled with green manure and weed rotation,” said Wang Xiaotie, President of Baiheng organic kiwi orchard. He said that a lot of overseas students came here to learn kiwi planting technology, including students from Pakistan.
“They are very interested in the production and industry chain of China’s organic fruit products. We are also the training base of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO). Pakistan is also a member of SCO. Next, we can go abroad with these safe and high-quality agricultural models. According to the needs of foreign friends, we will help update and improve their agricultural model.” Wang Xiaotie said.