Golden Harvest: Apricot Innovation in Baltistan

In March 2023, Central Asia Institute and Pakistan partner Moawin Foundation launched a new economic empowerment project for women in the breathtaking region of Baltistan. Focused on harnessing the potential of apricots, the initiative aimed to tackle the longstanding issue of mismanagement of this valuable fruit in various parts of Baltistan.

Mapping Potential

The project, implemented across three districts—Kharmang, Ghanche, and Shigar—provided training opportunities to women without such support. Recognizing the untapped potential of apricots in Baltistan, the initiative targeted villages where apricot wastage was rampant, particularly focusing on widows and women from poor backgrounds.

Within the districts, villages like Daghoni, Mayurdo, and Nar became hubs of activity as women enthusiastically participated in training sessions on apricot dehydration, jam-making, mulberry preservation, and product marketing. The comprehensive skill development programs not only opened financial opportunities but also instilled a newfound sense of confidence in their abilities.

Apricot at market in Pakistan

Measuring Success: Post-Training Evaluations

Early post-training evaluations revealed promising results. In Daghoni Ghanche, where apricot wastage was a significant concern, the project introduced innovative preservation techniques for the first time. Once marginalized, women like Gulibi and Fizia emerged as successful entrepreneurs, generating income through the production of jams and dried apricot products. The 20 participants in Daghoni increased their income by an average of 180%.  

Economic Impact and Community Development

The impact of the Apricot Dehydration Project goes beyond individual success stories. It addresses the issue of apricot wastage, fosters economic development, and empowers women to lead sustainable income-generating ventures. The project serves as a successful example of community development, blending traditional practices with modern techniques for sustainable income generation in previously underserved regions. As these women continue to thrive, their success reverberates through their communities, paving the way for a brighter and more prosperous future in the breathtaking landscapes of Baltistan.

Jars of apricot jam



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