Food Security a Challenge we Face-Gojal Valley an Example

On 12 Feb., 2020

Gojal valley is facing a food insecurity which was once an area self sufficient in all sorts of food items.Over the years the trend has changed and forced the local economy from agriculture to service sector which left them strive for hygienic and organic food.

Food Security a Challenge we Face-Gojal Valley an Example

Gojal a region best considered for agriculture is facing a dilemma with regard to agriculture and food security. The climate, water, soil and human capability is best fit for the production of fruits and vegetables yet it has been unable to show its mark.

The potentials of the area cannot be undermined in many areas. The area has best proved itself for fruits such as apricot, apple, pear, cherry, peach, almonds, and walnuts. Since long the area has only been able to benefit from apricot and according to a study 10% of the total production is still not marketable.

Vegetable has been another area which could fetch millions for the area. AKRSP initiated the growing of potato as a cash crop. Potato remained the most earning cash crop of Gojal from 1990 to 2009.This indeed proved a best source of income for the area but as time passed its demand decreased in national market due to its excess supply. The area relied on traditional methods of growing potato and it production decreased to a large scale. Thus the cost of production over the time increased due to costly fertilizers and use of machinery in production. The locals have now lost their interest in the production due to minimal profit.

Vegetables such as wheat, barley, onion, carrot, turnip, peas, are also high earning vegetables which could fetch millions for the locals but the interest in growing these crops has not yet ben witnessed.

The current situation is that despite of the great potential of fruit and vegetable of the area the locals purchase both fruits and vegetables being supplied from down the country.

Several reasons have led to the situation. The interest of youth in agriculture is seen nowhere now and the elders cultivating the land prefer to stick to their old tradition of plantation and farming.

There has been a resistance from the locals to try new things which are feasible for reasons that they think their older cultivation methods as better.

The culture of innovation and initiative in agriculture is nowhere. The average cultivable land an individual family holds ranges from 2 to 20 kennel in different villages of Gojal. The production is meagre and output per kennel is very minor.

The said condition could lead to a grave situation of food security and a huge economical loss. The population could face health issues due to using fruits which are not organic.

The opportunities for the sale of fruits and vegetables has reached to the door step of locals. Almost a million tourists visited the area in 2016 and it will increase manifold in the years ahead. Fulfilment of the demand of the tourists itself will be an achievement of the area and indeed a big centre of revenue for each family.

The situation could be transformed through thorough planning and initiative. The local s need detailed information on the alternate fruits and crops. They need to understand the cost benefit of each product over a period of at least 10 years. The area needs to shift its products knowing the economic value of each product. There have been several areas of Pakistan where people have changed their line of product in agriculture keeping in view its marketability and profitability.

Fruits like Apricot, Walnut and almond are such fruits which are profitable at all times and need less human efforts to maintain and grow. The suggestion is that sloppy and barren areas be made farmland of these fruits.

Vegetable is dire need of the area and if the local economy grows enough to feed them round the year that could be a big financial benefit to every family. Vegetables such as carrot, turnip, onion can be stored and could fetch a good local market.

Being self-sufficient in food means saving millions which we instead pay to fulfil our needs from outside. The local economy needs a paradigm shift if we want to grow economically. The money we spend on buying food items from outside could be fully managed in the area. The excess capacity of food items grown could fetch a good revenue thus increasing the income of each family.

Gojal a region best considered for agriculture is facing a dilemma with regard to agriculture and food security. The climate, water, soil and human capability is best fit for the production of fruits and vegetables yet it has been unable to show its mark.

The potentials of the area cannot be undermined in many areas. The area has best proved itself for fruits such as apricot, apple, pear, cherry, peach, almonds, and walnuts. Since long the area has only been able to benefit from apricot and according to a study 10% of the total production is still not marketable.

Vegetable has been another area which could fetch millions for the area. AKRSP initiated the growing of potato as a cash crop. Potato remained the most earning cash crop of Gojal from 1990 to 2009.This indeed proved a best source of income for the area but as time passed its demand decreased in national market due to its excess supply. The area relied on traditional methods of growing potato and it production decreased to a large scale. Thus the cost of production over the time increased due to costly fertilizers and use of machinery in production. The locals have now lost their interest in the production due to minimal profit.

Vegetables such as wheat, barley, onion, carrot, turnip, peas, are also high earning vegetables which could fetch millions for the locals but the interest in growing these crops has not yet ben witnessed.

The current situation is that despite of the great potential of fruit and vegetable of the area the locals purchase both fruits and vegetables being supplied from down the country.

Several reasons have led to the situation. The interest of youth in agriculture is seen nowhere now and the elders cultivating the land prefer to stick to their old tradition of plantation and farming.

There has been a resistance from the locals to try new things which are feasible for reasons that they think their older cultivation methods as better.

The culture of innovation and initiative in agriculture is nowhere. The average cultivable land an individual family holds ranges from 2 to 20 kennel in different villages of Gojal. The production is meagre and output per kennel is very minor.

The said condition could lead to a grave situation of food security and a huge economical loss. The population could face health issues due to using fruits which are not organic.

The opportunities for the sale of fruits and vegetables has reached to the door step of locals. Almost a million tourists visited the area in 2016 and it will increase manifold in the years ahead. Fulfilment of the demand of the tourists itself will be an achievement of the area and indeed a big centre of revenue for each family.

The situation could be transformed through thorough planning and initiative. The local s need detailed information on the alternate fruits and crops. They need to understand the cost benefit of each product over a period of at least 10 years. The area needs to shift its products knowing the economic value of each product. There have been several areas of Pakistan where people have changed their line of product in agriculture keeping in view its marketability and profitability.

Fruits like Apricot, Walnut and almond are such fruits which are profitable at all times and need less human efforts to maintain and grow. The suggestion is that sloppy and barren areas be made farmland of these fruits.

Vegetable is dire need of the area and if the local economy grows enough to feed them round the year that could be a big financial benefit to every family. Vegetables such as carrot, turnip, onion can be stored and could fetch a good local market.

Being self-sufficient in food means saving millions which we instead pay to fulfil our needs from outside. The local economy needs a paradigm shift if we want to grow economically. The money we spend on buying food items from outside could be fully managed in the area. The excess capacity of food items grown could fetch a good revenue thus increasing the income of each family.

Food Security a Challenge we Face-Gojal Valley an Example
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