Gilgit-Baltistan’s resources Awareness must for development

GOJAL: Due to lack of knowledge, people of Gilgit-Baltistan have so far not benefited from the abundant natural resources in the region. Subik Thorn, for example, has become a major source of income for many countries but people of Gilgit-Baltistan are yet to become aware of the economic potential of the plant which is also native to the region. These views were expressed at a workshop on Subik Thorn organized by the Gojal Organisation for Local Development and Hawk Subik Thorn International in Gulmit, Gojal. Speaking on the occasion, Director Agriculture Abdul Wahid, who was the chief guest, said due to lack of awareness people in Gilgit-Baltistan used to consider Subik Thorn as a harmful plant and rooted it away from agricultural fields. However, he said, now the locals had started realizing the benefits of the plant and were growing it on their land. He said the plant had not only economic benefits but also helped in checking land erosion and land sliding. In his presidential address, president Ismaili Council for Gulmit Gojal Rahim Khan said the efforts of Subik Thorn International to promote the plant and develop mineral resources of the region were praiseworthy. He said it was the responsibility of the government to develop Subik Thorn through the agriculture department and introduce it at the international level for the benefit of the local farmers.Pak-Subik International’s chief executive Ghulam Nabi Shigri said the thorny plant which was internationally known as Subik Thorn was found in abundance in Hunza, Ghizar, Astore and Chital. He said over 5,000 tons of Subik Thorn could be produced in the area annually. He said over 190 food compounds were found in the fruit, leaves and oil of the plant which can be used in production of a number of drugs for treatment of various diseases. Deputy director agriculture Riaz, Shah Gul Aziz. Ghulam Mohammad and others also spoke on the occasion.— Our Correspondent

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