CHITRAL: To protect Chalghuza (pinus geradina) from being harvested before it is ripe, the forest department with the financial support of Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations (UN) has launched Chalghuza Forest Conservation project in Chitral.
The committee will look after chalguza (pine nut) trees and pluck pine nuts when it is ripe.
A meeting in this regard was held in Bumburate which was attended by officials of Forest Department and locals. The meeting formed Chalguza Forest Conservation Committee and elected Abdul Majeed Qureshi as its president. Besides other members, two women have also been included in the committee.
Ijaz Ahmed, coordinator for the project, said while addressing the meeting that FAO had initiated the project to improve Chalghuza production in Chitral and create awareness among the people in this regard.
He said the local people will be given awareness about proper look after of Chalghuza trees and proper method of harvesting and time to pluck pine nuts from trees.
He said it will be good for Chalghuza production in Chtiral and local people will also get job opportunities. He said the local people will benefit from Chalguza forests if these are looked after properly.
Subdivisional Forest Officer (SDFO) Umair Nawaz said the purpose of the awareness session was to tell the people not to pluck Chalghuza before time. He said pine nuts must be plucked only after it is mature (ripe) and prepared for use.
He said people should wait till the fruit becomes mature for more production and proper taste. He said a proper mechanism must be introduced for preserving pine trees and saving forests from damage.
A community development officer said proper care of pine trees will improve the local economy and create job opportunities. He said equipment for properly plucking pine nut will be distributed free of cost among the local people.
He said people will also be trained about proper care of pine trees.
After the meeting, the Forest Department team visited the pine trees forest in Bumburate along with our correspondent who stressed for field visit and forest area to see the condition of trees and measures needed to improve the forest and its production of pine nuts.–GH Farooqui