The main strength of the Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) economy relies heavily on nuts and agriculture. This area is famous for its production of almonds, apricots, cherries, and other nuts in the world, but the most popular fruit is the almond. A wide variety of almonds is present in all districts of GB. GB is most importantly a rural society with small urban centers and agriculture is the primary occupation of the people.
Gilgit-Baltistan faces long and strenuous problems such as profits in the fruit sector. Travel, Lack of storage facilities, Unavailability of export quality packaging material, Quality control Grading, and sterilization facilities reduce the value of the fruits. The different markets of Gilgit-Baltistan country can become a business hub between Pakistan and China. China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can be used as a gateway for both countries in this context. In this case, the people of GB can make huge profits by exporting the best.
Standard almonds and other dried fruits to China. Ironically, there is a lack of infrastructure. An efficient road network for timely access to the market. GB people have more opportunities in agriculture and organic farming. The climate and abundant water resources in Gilgit-Baltistan make it ideally suited for the spectacular development of the sector. These are the Top 10 fruits of Gilgit-Baltistan.
Almond is the most popular fruit a huge variety of almonds originate in all districts of GB. Each type has its own specific characteristics. Gilgit-Baltistan produces about 120,650 tons of almonds per year. Farmers of GB could earn billions of rupees through almonds export. The fresh and dried almonds in Gilgit-Baltistan are famous for their rich taste and organic nature. Pollution-free environment and abundant water resources make it ideally suitable for the natural growth of fruits and vegetables.
In Gilgit-Baltistan, the most of growing fruit is apricot but due to low shelf life and lack of storage systems, this fruit can’t be transported to distant areas where its demand is high. In GB fresh apricots are rarely transported but dried apricots are sometimes transported to local and distant markets through their own effort and risk. Apricots have many varieties like “margholam”, “halman”, “sharrakarfo”, “doso”, and many more.
Dried apricots are exported after being treated with sulfur to enhance their value, appearance, and price. Oil can be extracted from the seeds of apricot, which is used for cooking purposes due to free cholesterol.
Mulberry is the most common fruit in GB and the most delicious one. There are two prominent types “Broosay” and “Bidana”. Shahtoot is of two colors, black and red while Bidana is white in color. The other variety is Karfoosay which is not eaten as fresh but dried and stored for winter. The main problem for mulberry is wind because its fruit stalks are very delicate and a slow wind can break them and the fruits fall on the ground and don’t remain eatable.
Cherries are also grown in this area for sale in the local market. Red cherries and Black cherries are the two prominent types and are grown almost in all parts of Gilgit-Baltistan. The most common problem for cherries is the lack of harvesting tools. People harvest them by hand, so most of the fruits are damaged. There is also the chance of the attack of birds and they can destroy the whole fruits of a tree. Cherries are also eaten fresh and dried.
The second most important fruit is the apple which is grown mostly in the Skardu, Pari Kharmang. These apples are very famous all over Gilgit-Baltistan due to their taste and appearance. ‘Saspolo’ a variety of apples (is very soft, delicious, tasty, and blood-red in color) is very famous and its demand is also high as compared to other varieties of apple. In the southwest of Skardu the Shangarilla, farmers grow different varieties and sold their produce to tourists and in the local market. Some famous varieties of Apples are Saspolo, Samarkhan, Nas-Kosho, Goden, and many more.
Grapes were cultivated in high quantity at a time but now people are not growing them as much as they should, due to a lack of interest and problems. However, it is being grown highly in Skardu and Hunza-Nagar. In Hunza, people mostly grow Grapes for making wines and drinks because there is no restriction for taking and drinking wine and alcohol. In Skardu, people grow them for home requirements, not for sale. There are also different types of grapes some remain green after ripe and some change into full black.