Pine nut is becoming a rare eatable in terms of its cost for the common man in our country mainly due to China’s interest in importing this royal dry fruit. Our neighbor has reportedly imported pine nuts in first two months of this year touching historical figure of US $17.67 million for 1,606.51 tons of Pakistani pine nuts. Pakistan has vast areas in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where bumper crop of pine nut is produced. Besides Pakistan, Afghanistan is another destination from where China imports huge chunks of pine nuts. Islamabad already exports its pine nuts to China and now it needs to pay more attention to increasing this crop and using modern techniques for its early harvest so that the dry fruit also made available for local consumption at an affordable price. The pine nut trade has become a billion-dollar industry and a block comprising China, Pakistan and Afghanistan can boost its production for the ultimate benefit of the masses of these states. Transportation, cultivation techniques, branding of Pakistani pine nuts are other essential factors that need government’s attention for increasing trade potential of this rare commodity. Pakistan needs to attract more investors and technology to improve this sector. Investors based in big cities like Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore and Peshawar can boost this trade and invest in the cultivation of this dry fruit.
Overall, China is playing a positive role by encouraging local economies and making them partner in the national development leading to progress at the international level. Ultimately, the trade will make a positive impact on local farmers. Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa are the places in our country, which are infamous for civil anarchy and militancy.
At the same time, both provinces possess huge potential in terms of minerals, rare dry fruits, tourism and hydropower sectors. The provincial and federal governments need to tap this huge potential for the common good. China’s interest in importing dry fruits can improve the living conditions of the farmers in both provinces. All efforts are needed to facilitate the export of pine nuts to meet growing demand of this dry fruit in the Chinese markets. Not only the trade will appease the taste buds of Chinese consumers, but it will also assist in bringing normalcy in our own regions, that are beset with problems of militancy and poor economy. Beijing has long viewed bilateral economic cooperation as a way to stabilize relations with Pakistan and the latter need to take full benefit of this Chinese largesse.