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PostPosted: 30 Dec 2016, 3:25 pm •  Post # 1
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People in the area of Mastuj near Chitral, have just been provided with solar-powered dehydration plants for preserving fresh fruits, which will allow farmers to increase their incomes.

Thanks to this project, 54 different plants were established in different parts of the area the women were provided with detailed training on different processes of fruit preservation which included harvesting, dehydration, packaging, and more.

Chairman of Qarambar and Shandur Area Development Organization (QASADO), Syed Saadat Jan said that there was a crucial need for technical guidance, packaging and marketing, since 60% of the surplus amount of fresh food was wasted due to be being fed to animals. The fruits included apricots, mulberries, wild cherries, pears and apples.

Financial backing for this project was provided by Small Grant and Ambassador’s Fund Program of USAID.

Project Helps Farmers Preserve Fruits and Enhance Incomes
The Chairman said that this area was well known for all of these fresh fruits, and they were all drying out in the customary way from exposure to direct sunlight. They were losing their “pleasant charm”, taste and freshness, which was giving them a bad time in the market, but now that this project has been introduced, things are going to change for the better.

One of the female trainees under the project, Nusrat Jabeen said that she used to feed large amount of fruits to the animals if there was a high likelihood of them going bad, but now thanks to these preservation plants, she was able to preserve 100 percent of the harvest.

“The fruit processing on modern lines will lead to financial empowerment of women.” she said.

She also said that that an Association of Shandur Businesswomen was formed to represent the women involved in the field of dried fruits and handicrafts and to enhance their entrepreneurial skills.

Nazim of Khoozh village council, Noor Ajam talked about how there was no marketing facility available to sell fresh fruits in the area at first. He said that this project would connect farmers and growers with the national and local market.

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