‘American Sweet Charlies’ for Khairpur
From next year, Pakistanis will be able to taste the American varieties of strawberries called ‘Sweet Charlie’ and ‘Festival’. Saplings of these are being imported from the US and planted in Khairpur, located in the plains of Sindh. The area is also known for the production of dates. The US varieties have never been grown in Pakistan before. The saplings planted over one acre of land are expected to bear fruit from late January to March.
The Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF) is working on the project in collaboration with the Sindh Government. The CSF is a joint initiative of the Finance Ministry and the US Agency for International Development (USAID). According to the CEO of the CSF, Arthur Bayhan, “Several countries, including Russia and some in the Gulf and Central Asia, import strawberries in winter. Pakistan will be able to target those markets with fresh fruit if the project is successful.”