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    November 18, 2016



Local Pear ‘Shoghori’ emerged as the best seller in the national market

By Zahiruddin

CHITRAL; The local species of pear named ‘Shoghori’ has emerged as the best seller in the national market over the last one-and-half decade but the farmers have failed to ensure its supply as per demand.

A local fruit merchant Rahmat Din told Chitral Times  that the local fruit market is in short supply of a large amount of the variety which can be quantified into thousands of kilograms.

He said that this year, he had received order of about 20 thousand kilograms of the variety from the market of Islamabad and Lahore but he failed to supply it due to the low to its low yield as its growing on commercial scale is yet to gain a prevalence among the farmers.

Known for its superb mellow taste, deep yellow color, brittle substance, pleasant aroma and durability for lasting to a longer period of more than seven months without being decomposed, the shoghori was developed to a commercial scale by the agriculture section of Aga Khan Rural Support Program.

Raising nurseries, the organization distributed saplings of the high-valued fruit among the farmers free of cost and imparted them technical guidance through its agricultural experts.

Mr. Din said that the low product of the pear variety is due to the smaller number of its trees as the farmers still preferred to cultivate cereal crops of wheat, maize and a number of vegetables and plant the trees only in the margins of their farms.

He said that he knew very few farmers who had developed full-fledged orchards for the pear or other kinds of fruits including cherry, apple and apricot for which the soil of the valley has been found to be too suitable.

He said that the variety is sold by Rs.250 to 300 rupees per kilogram in Islamabad and other cities while in Chitral, its price ranges from 150 to 180 rupees presently and it becomes double in the off season.

Sajjad Ahmed, a manager in AKRSP, said that the variety of the pear won first prizes for the local farmers in the fruit exhibitions both on national level held in Karachi as well as in Dubai a few years ago.

“After the Dubai exhibition, the demand of the variety surge to such a level that it could be sent in many containers loaded with shoghori but it could not be supplied as the available quantity was too low to be exported”, he said.

The agriculture section of AKRSP stands closed for the last couple of years and there is no other organization to promote the high-valued fruit trees including shoghori by raising nurseries while no nursery of fruit trees is available in private sector in the district.

Regarding the origin of the variety, Muhkamuddin, the former chairman of Ayun and Kalash valleys Development Program (AVDP), said that it was brought from Badakhshan province of Afghan by the former rulers of Chitral about a century ago.

He contended that in some parts of the district, the pear variety is also called Tazhian which is usually used for the people, animals and goods brought from the belt of Afghanistan.

Shoghore is a village near Chitral city on Chitral-Garam Chashma Road which leads to Afghanistan via Gobore Pass and the saying is that its sapling was first raised in the village, so it came to be named after the village as shoghori.


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