Apple the golden crop of KPK province

January 17, 2013

By Allah Dad Khan PPD CMPII Pesshawar


Apple, an important fruit of temperate climate, is very popular the world over. It was cultivated in Greece around 600 BC or earlier. During the time a number of wild varieties were known. Those varieties were perhaps spread by animals into Europe before much cultivation was practiced.

It is apt to write that “an apple a day keeps the Doctor away” and also add to it keeps the old-age away. It is a highly nutritive fruit containing essential food elements such as sugar 11%, fat 0.4%, protein 0.3%, carbohydrates 14.9% and vitamins C, A & B in a balanced form. In America and Europe it is considered as a bottle of vitamins. It ranks third in consumption after citrus and banana and is almost available throughout the year.

In Pakistan, apples have been grown as Commercial Fruit Plants in Balochistan and Khyber Pukhtun Khwa  since long. Because of its attractive income, apple plantation was taken up by the growers in Swat, Dir, Mansehra, Parachinar, Chitral, Hunza, North and South Waziristan Agencies.

Allah Dad Khan
Allah Dad Khan

District Swat covers an area of approximately 4000 square miles within the Malakand Division. The area is mainly a river valley surrounded by mountains, which also have fertile valleys feedings into the main Swat Plain. District Swat is the most important of all the apple producing districts of Khyber Pukhtun Khwa. Next in importance come the districts of Mansehra, Dir, Abbottabad, Chitral and Hunza.


Top Ten Apple Producers — 11 June 2008


Production (Tonnes)


 People’s Republic of China

27 507 000


 United States

4 237 730


2 660 000



2 266 437


2 211 000



2 072 500


2 001 400


1 800 000



1 390 000



1 300 000



64 255 520


No symbol = official figure, F = FAO estimate, A = Aggregate (may include official, semi-official, or estimates);

Source: FAO


Production of Apple in Pakistan



If we really want to increase the export of fresh fruits, the following problems and their remedial measures are suggested.

i) Produce quality needs to be improved at producer level by:

– Improvement in varieties and plants.
– Improvement in irrigation techniques.
– Improvement in farmer product knowledge.
– Improvement in government advice systems.
– Controls on the usage of fertilizers and sprays.

ii) Product presentation needs to be improved by:

– Better care at harvesting.
– Grading facilities.
– Washing and waxing facilities.
– Cooling (field heat pull down, transportation storage).
– Packing on or near production site.
– Better packing materials and boxes
– Better lable and box printing.
– Palletizing and netting for stability.
– Educating staff in produce handling techniques.

iii) Transport improvements are required in terms of:

– Internal systems (road, rail) including reefer trucks.
– Better utilization of available air freight space
– Better airport storage and handling.
– Increase in exports by reefer sea freight.

iv) Exporters must accept:

– Investment in packing and cooling facilities as well as grading and labour training.
– Procurement direct at production source and not through wholesale markets.
– Contractual supply arrangements in order to provide incentives for improved production.
– Need to cooperate with each other and with the Government.
– Need to develop internal quality control systems.


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