ISLAMABAD (November 12 2009): The Competitiveness Support Fund (CSF), in collaboration with the Sindh Government, has started cultivation of two new varieties of strawberry imported from USA. CSF has imported two new varieties of saplings including Sweet Charlie and Festival, said press release of the fund here on Wednesday adding that these varieties have been imported for the first time from the United States and have already been planted in district Khairpur.
The saplings have been planted over an area of one acre and are expected to bear fruit from late January to March, it said adding that if successful, the initial project is likely to generate huge interest and potential for export of the fruit in the years to come. `There are a number of countries, including some in the Gulf, Central Asia and Russia, which import strawberries in the winter. However, Pakistan will be able to target these markets with fresh fruit if the current project is successful,` said Arthur Bayhan, Chief Executive Officer of CSF.
Over the past decade the fruit has seen phenomenal popularity in the country and is now grown in abundance for domestic consumption between February and April. Some of the varieties grown in Pakistan are Chandelier, Corona and Stuff, which are mostly sour and small in size. However, the two new varieties imported by CSF, through the Sindh Development Fund, are larger and sweeter.