اگست 19, 2014

Chitral’s dried fruit a boon for non-local traders

 

CHITRAL: The non-local traders do a roaring business in selling the dried fruit abundantly produced in distant valleys of Chitral as local people take no interest in doing the trade despite rampant employment among them.

Talking to Dawn here on Friday, Haji Yaqub of Kosht, a shopkeeper, said the people of upper Chitral valley produced a huge amount of white mulberry and apricot and then dried them.

He said this year the area produced bumper crop which attracted a large number of buyers to the villages, who went door to door to collect the dried fruits and then sold them in markets, earning huge profits.

“But, surprisingly no local person could be seen doing the job despite rampant employment prevailing in the region,” he maintained.

“Young people from Mohmand, Bajaur, Charsadda, Mardan and Dir come to the valley every year and purchase the dried fruit and earn a good dividend by selling it,” he said.

Mr Yaqub said that the local people sold their dried fruit to the non-local buyers at throwaway rates as they didn’t bother to take it to the market themselves.

“Many unemployed youth feel shame or are reluctant in selling their dried fruits to earn a respectable living,” he lamented.

Masood Ahmed, who works in an NGO’s human resource development section, said he had failed to bring round the Chitral youth to initiate such enterprises as they didn’t want to do such a petty job,” he said.

Mr Ahmed said that there was a good margin of profit in selling dried fruit, but unfortunately the local youth considered the job below their dignity.

“Many organisations offered interest free loans to youth to make them start the business, but o one availed the opportunity,” he regretted.

Jaffar Gul from Mohmand Agency said he along with a group of friends had been coming to upper Chitral for three years in a row to buy the dried fruit.

“I spend three months here every year, selling the dried fruit and earning quite a handsome profit. I then invest the profit in my crockery business in Mardan,” he added.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2014

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