The Gilgit Baltistan (GB) region of northern Pakistan provides the ideal climatic conditions for the growth of various fruits such as apricots, cherries and apples. The difficult terrain, however, makes the collection and distribution of these fruits difficult and costly. As a result, in GB, there is excess production of such fruits with little access to formal markets.
Mountain Fruits has been the lead enterprise in the area exporting dried fruits and nuts to international markets and is certified for organic and fair trade products. The company’s main export product was dried apricots and now they intend to move into organic and conventional (Fairtrade) pulp processing. This market looks promising to the company and they have the requisite technical processing and fruit collection capacity to cater to the demands.
MDF has partnered with Mountain Fruits to assist them in conducting a feasibility study for fruit pulping and processing for exports to niche international markets. Based upon the findings of the study, MDF will further facilitate Mountain Fruits in developing a fruit pulp processing facility. This would enable the farmers to sell fresh apricots in addition to the dried apricots that they already sell.