AGENDA: To conduct a survey and GAP analysis of the current situation in Gilgit Baltistan Province.
TIME/DATE: 4th Sept – 12th Sept, 2012
STAR FARM TEAM:
Syed Shaukat Ali                               Managing Director, Star Farm Pakistan
Muhammad Irfan                                Master Trainer, Star Farm Pakistan
Gilgit Baltistan Introduction:
Gilgit–Baltistan covers an area of 72,971 km² (28,174 mi²) and is highly mountainous. It has an estimated population approaching 1,000,000. Its administrative center is the city of Gilgit(population 216,760).
The climate of Gilgit–Baltistan varies from region to region; surrounding mountain ranges creates sharp variations in weather. The eastern part has the moist zone of the western Himalayas, but going toward Karakoram and Hindu Kush the climate dries considerably.
There are towns like Gilgit and Chilaas that are very hot during the day in summer, yet cold at night, and valleys like Astore, Khaplu, Yasin, Hunza, and Nagar where the temperatures are cold even in summer.
Gilgit–Baltistan was cut off from Pakistan and rest of the world due to the harsh terrain and the lack of accessible roads. All of the roads to the south opened towards the Pakistani-controlled state of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and to the southeast towards the present-day Indian-controlled state of Jammu and Kashmir. During the summer, people could walk across the mountain passes to travel to Rawalpindi. The fastest way to travel, however, was by air, but air travel was accessible only to a few privileged local people and to Pakistani military and civilian officials.
Agha Khan Rural Support Program:
AKRSP is a leading NGO working for the people of Gilgit, Baltistan in different sectors like Agriculture, Women Empowerment and Cultural Promotion, After an invitation by AKRSP representatives, Star Farm Pakistan’s team visited Baltistan to combine venture with AKRSP for Certification and Market Linkages Program, Mr. Shaukat Ali Sherazi Managing Director Star Farm Pakistan with Master Trainer Muhammad Irfan met with people from different sectors of Supply Chain during their visit like farmers, suppliers, processors, traders, NGOS, etc.
DAY ONE
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Meeting with AKRSP Staff on 4th of Sept, 2012, the meeting started off with a presentation by Mr. Shaukat Ali Sherazi Managing Director Star Farm Pakistan, covering the introduction of Star Farm and its workflow.

DAY TWO(First Half)
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Meeting with PCSIR Staff on 5th of Sept, 2012, they have a testing facility but not up to the mark, but they are working with full dedication for the capacity building of the farmers regarding training and processing
DAY TWO (SECOND HALF)
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Visit to Kachura Apple Farm on 5th of Sept, 2012, the farm was well organized and had apples, almonds and apricots planted, however they were not focused on pre-harvest losses due to diseases and pests. This needs to be considered on urgent basis.
DAY THREE (FIRST HALF)
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Visit to Apple Grower Association at Pari, Kharmang on 6th of Sept, 2012, the problems they are facing are Post-Harvest Losses (40-90%), Market and Cold Chain. The potential variety of this area was “Saspolo” due to its Aroma, Taste and Color.
DAY THREE (SECOND HALF)
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Meeting with Local Farmers on 6th of Sept (Second Half), 2012 at Olding, they are dedicated to have a group training and to eradicate problems like root stock, introduction of new cultivars, Market barriers and post-harvest Losses. Halman is the Common Commercial Variety of Apricot
DAY FOUR (FIRST HALF)
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Meeting with Skardu Government Officials on 7th of Sept, 2012, they are about to launch a program for improvement of Food Supply Chain, Star Farm Team visited Mr. Riaz, Director Govt. Agriculture Skardu and Dr. Muhammad Naseer, Deputy Director Livestock and Dairy Development Skardu.
DAY FOUR (SECOND HALF)
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Meeting with Skardu USAID officials on 7th of Sept, 2012, they appreciate our work and want to work with us for the supply chain improvement and market linkages.
DAY FIVE
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Meeting with Apricot Women’s Farmer Association on 8th of Sept, 2012, they discussed about their issues which were Diseases, Pre & Post Harvest Losses, lack of Storage facilities, no Packaging knowledge and no Govt. support.
DAY SIX
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Meeting with people from Baltistan Culture Development Foundation on 9th of Sept, 2012, they started operations in 1998 for the development of Market Linkages and Value addition in Apricot, Sheep Skin, Apples, Sea Buckthorn and Stones. They want to acquire organic certification and international standards for Packaging.
DAY SEVEN
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Meeting with people from Local Support Organization on 10th of Sept, 2012, who is working for the local community development in different sectors in agriculture of Skardu.
DAY EIGHT
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Meeting with traders and processors of Skardu on 11th of Sept, 2012, they are currently dealing in exports and processing of Apples and Sea Buckthorn, they are focusing on getting IFS Training for their capacity building.
DAY NINE
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Meeting Farmers and Processors of Khaplu on 12th of Sept, 2012, they are currently involved in dehydration of Apples and Apricots and farming of Fish (Trout).
ON LAST DAY
Star Farm team again met the officials from AKRSP in which they asked about Star Farm’s visit and a detail of gaps and opportunities were briefed by Mr. Shaukat Ali Sherazi, M.D Star Farm Pakistan. AKRSP is now willing to implement the Star Farm concept in Gilgit Baltistan, to develop skills and enhance techniques of the Agri-Stakeholders of this province.