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06/30/2011

Success Story of a Victim of the Flood

Charsadda District is an area with affluent soils. Three rivers flow in the area and are important resources for irrigations. People grow various vegetables such as sugarcane, sugar beet, tobacco, wheat, corns, okra, tomatoes, cabbage, egg plants and spinach.

For the past five years, they especially produce a lot of balsam pears. Balsam pears are sold not only at the market in Pakistan but at the international market including Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Afghanistan.

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Gul Mast, 30, who has been a farmer for more than 20 years in Tajakay village is also producing a lot of balsam pears for business. He started to grow balsam pears using wooden frames with his brother in 2006. Using wooden frames enhances productivity.

The Gul family used to sell vegetables at local markets or to retailers in urban areas. Meanwhile, wholesalers come to the markets in Charsadda District and they shipped vegetables from the farmers for exporting. The wholesalers exported balsam pears to the United Arab Emirates. Gul had sold the vegetables to the wholesalers for a year, but started to think he wanted to launch a business and export balsam pears to all over the world. When Gul talked to his brother about his idea, they reached an agreement. They started to get necessary information for the exporting business such as license and requirement and finally launched their business. In 2009, they started importing balsam pears.

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Gul and his brother collected balsam pears from the whole area as the other wholesalers did. They let 10 or 15 of their employees collect and package vegetables and Gul and his brother do the ratings.

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However, Gul said that the flood last year devastated lands of Gul’s family and other partners, which he was hardly able to earn his living. Under such situation, he said that JEN’s assistance made the land recover to the level of growing vegetables and that he was able to get seeds of vegetables he had originally grown. Moreover, he said he appreciated JEN’s agricultural training of before and after harvest which led him to cut drastically ineffectiveness of production.

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Gul started exporting in June 2011. Up until June 19, he wholesaled 3,150 kilograms of balsam pears and exported 21,550 kilograms to Dubai. He said that the export and wholesale at the local markets would last until October this year. He hopes that the business year will be much better than before and he plans to build a storage and a cabin for ratings.

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June 30, 2011 in Pakistan |