Balochistan, potentially the best economic frontier of Pakistan, has acquired international fame due to its tremendous capacity to cater economic and energy crises in the country. It is blessed with reserves and resources that can substantially change the current circumstances of the country. The development projects and mega advancements of the province are unfortunately webbed in political compulsions and legal lacunas for a very long time, with far-reaching economic implications. Steering such colossal opportunities into a toil where it can do justice to its potential requires several initiatives.

The general population is eventually realizing the importance of Balochistan’s geography and has decided to free their destinies from major power entwinements. The government and local leadership took refuge behind the pretexts of international involvement for last three decades. However, it is evident from CPEC’s escorting projects that the province’s economy is leading towards development against all odds.

The economy of Balochistan mainly consists of coal mining, minerals, and the natural gas extraction. These resources contribute to the national income by 3.7% to 4.9%. However, there are many other untapped resources in the province that can further enhance its economic contribution. For example, a study of sectoral research to identify and exploit business development services, led by SMEDA (The Small Medium Enterprises Development Authority), declares that establishing Dates Processing Plant in district Panjgur will facilitate the national income through potential investments and project revenues.

Panjgur is one of the three subdivisions of district Makran. Its geography, that includes climate and soil, provides optimum conditions for cultivation of its famous high-quality dates of around 109 different types. Moreover, the presence of three rivers; Gwargo, Niwan and Rakshan further makes it the most suitable place for date palm agrobusiness. Dates manufacturing plant in Panjgur provided with necessary inputs of human resources, water and electricity will prove to be a game changer for Balochistan. Furthermore, this project will facilitate the stir of opportunities for entrepreneurs.

The district’s demographics and natural resources are optimal for such mega projects. Likewise, successful management coupled with the favorable environment in the region will yield around 8 million kilograms of dates per year with the initial utilization of 65%. The process of farming, packing and marketing of different varieties of dates like Peshnaah, Roghe, Asil, Kharaba, Zaidii, Basraa, Deshiari, Jansoor, Gogna, Mazavati, Begam and Jhanji require a skilled labor force that in turn will increase the employability ratio in Balochistan. Evidently, Panjgur is the most appropriate land for such a large-scale crop to harvest. With proper management and support for this business, the local markets of Quetta, Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Islamabad as well as the international markets of India, Canada, USA, UAE, Germany, UK, Denmark, Australia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Dubai, Japan and China can be targeted with an enormous export potential and demand for the Pakistani dates in these regions.

Balochistan is blessed with several resources that can contribute to national income development and also help ease energy shortages in Pakistan. There is a dire need to utilize these resources to accrue the optimum benefits out of it. Hence, it is up to the people of Balochistan and the government to fill the void of economic deprivations by emplacement of numerous projects like establishing Dates Processing Plants.


About Author

The writer is a former student of Cadet College Hasanabdal and currently doing his Bachelors from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He is an active columnist, trying to represent Balochistan on national and international forums.

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