Chitral Today
Latest Updates and Breaking News

Ban sought on premature harvest of chalghuza

CHITRAL: Peasant councillor Rahmat Ilahi has demanded ban on premature harvest of chalghuza as detaching of cones from branches of trees destroyed the buds.

Talking to mediapersons here on Monday, he said the standard process of harvesting the chalghuza pine nuts was to wait for its ripening within the cones, after which it burst into pieces and the seeds were ejected to be collected afterwards.

He said at present the collectors of chalghuza in different forests of southern Chitral cut the cones from the branches of the trees at quite early stage.

Mr Ilahi said the non-local traders of chalghuza had arrived in Chitral in large number to purchase the cones and transport them to the down country, which had caused a mad race among the farmers to cut the cones during which they damaged the branches which carried buds in the next season.

“If the process goes without check, then the trees of chalghuza pine will not bear fruit next year,” he feared, saying transportation of cones out of the district also caused shortage of fuel for burning as empty cones were widely collected by people near forests for use as firewood in winter.

“In the olden days, birds named wood pigeons, locally called ‘aghagh’ of the size of doves, indicated the ripening of seeds in a particular area of the forest,” he said, adding deviation from the natural process always brought destruction to the forest and caused losses to the wildlife as well because the wood pigeon population had become extinct due to early harvest of chalghuza trees which was its most favourite food.

The councillor also demanded ban on transportation of chalghuza cones so these were processed in Chitral for separation of seeds and the empties were use as firewood to help reduce deforestation.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2018

You might also like
1 Comment
  1. Shah Karez says

    Grateful to Rehmat Ilahi sb for raising this important issue. This is the first time I hear from any Councillor a concern of national importance. Not to speak of the cones the cruel harvesters cut down the entire branches of Chalghuza trees thus destroying speeding up the extinction time of the rare species. We expect the office of the DFO Chitral to take timely action to control this disaster. It is now time to alert the Forest Guards to remain at the sites until the harvesting season is over.

Leave a comment

error: Content is protected!!