OCOP: Chilgoza pine nuts
Character and comparative advantage: The pines perform important ecological functions; most of them provide valuable food for humans and wildlife and play a role in watershed protection. The pine nuts fulfill the following value i.e. nutritional value, medical value, climate resilience, income generation and trade. Nut producing pines are species of high economic, ecological, cultural and spiritual significance. Because they provide a multitude of benefits to humans, including highly nutritious healthy nuts and oily fragrant woods. Chilgoza pine forest ecosystem plays an important role in socio-economic development of rural communities and the nearby cities. The forests not only provide pine nuts as an economic commodity, but also provide fuel wood, medicinal plants, pasture and shelter and cover for livestock as well as wildlife beside other environmental services. The nuts are organic, High value nuts and free from pesticides and fertilizers.
Producing areas: The chilgoza pine (Pinusgerardiana) is a coniferous tree, native to the northwestern Himalayas and Suleman Mountain range of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Chilgoza forests are mainly occurring in the dry temperate zone of Pakistan, where there is less rainfall compared to the snowfall. Chilgoza trees grow between 2,000 m to 3,350 m above sea level in the Hindukush-Karakoram-Himalaya region of North Pakistan.
In Balochistan, the world’s largest pure stand of Chilgoza pine forests is found within the Suleiman Mountain Range, occupying an area of ca. 26,000 ha—with 0.7 million trees found here of various age groups, or a volume of 876,560 cubic meters. This project will target Shirani district of Balcohsiatn
In Chitral district of the ShishiKoh valley (Barir), Chilgoza trees of different age classes are spread across twenty-one (21) forest compartments.
In South-Waziristan Agency (of FATA) and its adjacent Frontier Region (FR), Chilgoza pine forests occupy an area of approximately 95,647 ha. The main Chilgoza forests that the project will address include the Shawalwazir area, Tare jawara, Shawange, Badar, Pheerghar, Anghur aha, Birmal, Razghe,Shaghai, and Sholam. These are significant Chilgoza forest areas.
In Diamer district of Gilgit-Baltistan, the Chilgoza forests are found in Hodure, Khanbery, Goharabad, Chilas, Darel, Tangir, Botogaa, Thor, Khinar and Doshal valleys
Demands: A few decades ago the Chilgoza nut market was not fully explored, therefore the consumption of the Chilgoza nut was only locally and some portion went to the national market. With the increased interest of Chinese investors in the Chilgoza nuts, the prices went up and the local people were motivated to stop the cutting of trees and instead collect the seed for earning handsome revenue.
According to the Agriculture Marketing Information Service (AMIS), in FY 2018-2019 (July 2018-June 2019, a good year) and FY 2019-2020 (a small year), Pakistan exported 692 tons and 73.9 tons of pine nuts to China respectively, worth Rs. 820 million and Rs. 190 million, accounting for 45.86 percent and 14 percent of the total export volume.
Consumption: Chilgoza is valued for its nuts for which there is high local, national and international demand. This species’ edible, oil-rich seeds are harvested in autumn and early winter. Nuts are used in medicine and as food. The estimated single standing Chilgoza pine tree can produce nuts worth $44 per year which makes it an important income source for many poor households. In addition, Chilgoza forests yield important non-timber forest products (NTFPs) including medicinal plants, mushrooms, and honey, which supplement local incomes and nutrition.
Beneficiaries: This project aims to support national, regional and local Chilgoza conservation and sustainable forest management actions that support sustainable local livelihoods, protect and harness significant biodiversity and ecosystem values, reduce GHG emissions and enhance carbon sequestration.
Chilgoza pine forests hold tremendous importance from both ecological and socio-economic perspectives, occupying a critical niche spanning protection and productive landscape and rangeland management.
Project has to support an economic valuation study of the multiple benefits / environmental services provided by Chilgoza forests. Pine nut generates income, improve livelihood of the community and contributes to better food and nutrition.
Chilgoza forests are mainly found in the dry temperate area of Pakistan, covering around 132 647 ha. In these areas, due to the lack of alternative energy, local people are cutting trees for fuelwood as they face harsh climatic conditions during winter. This practice, together with overgrazing, is contributing to deforestation....
The Restoration Initiative (TRI) project in Pakistan focuses on restoration, protection and sustainable management of the Chilgoza pine forests ecosystem to provide global environmental benefits as well as enhanced resilience and livelihoods to local stakeholders.