Production of fruits and vegetables in Pakistan is concentrated in different geographical belts, which have limited access to markets. This contributes to high post-harvest loses and less returns for the farmers. Some of these areas are remote and have limited processing and storage facilities. Gilgit Baltistan is a fruit belt with small farmers and abundant production of apricots and other fruits. The costs involved in collecting the fruits are high due to distant valleys and weak infrastructure, discouraging businesses to invest in the region. This limits the avenues for the farmers to sell their produce.
MDF is supporting Organo Botanica (OB), a dry fruit processor in Gilgit Baltistan to increase their processing capacity through improved washing, pasteurising and storage facilities. MDF is also supporting OB in gaining organic certification for its products – to better cater to European markets. This provides farmers in Gilgit Baltistan access to a consistent buyer who offers higher prices for high quality produce and lower wastage for farmers.