Gilgit-Baltistan growers hope to double their incomes and profit margins as China has for the first time allowed the import of cherries from the northern region and other cities in neighboring Pakistan.
GB’s mild to cold climate has allowed it to become the region’s highest producer of cherries. Over the last three decades in particular, the cherry has emerged as GB’s main cash crop, and seen a sharp increase in production.
In 2001, the total volume of cherries produced in the region was 2,678 tons. Today, according to Javed Akhtar, from the regional Agriculture Department, over 8,000 tons of cherries are harvested annually in GB.