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Monday, November 26, 2007


This $400,000 project in the Ghizer district of the Northern Area of Pakistan in the foothills of the Himalayas gathers medicinal berries and extracts “neutraceuticals” from the seeds to tackle prostate and breast cancer, it also makes skin ointments from the fruit pulp. The project innovates by extracting oil by using state-of-the-art super critical carbon dioxide fluid extraction. The technology is also used to extract oil from other fruits such as apricots and grapes.

The work is financed via private sector investors and the Competitiveness Support Fund (see post below - FoodWorks provides technical and economic advisory services to CSF). The project addresses poverty by putting value to otherwise non-commercial wild plants of the Sea Buckthorn (for more details of the health aspects of this important medicinal plant check our partner blog The project targets around 1,200 households by reinvesting profits back into the community for better growing and harvesting practices. Over 70% of the beneficiaries are women.

The main partner, Rural Development Initiative (RDI), is a Pakistani NGO which aims at generating employment opportunities by utilizing local natural resources. RDI has established a fruit processing and pulping unit in Ghakuch, Ghizer NA (see photo). The Sea Buckthorn pulp and seeds are transported to Lahore for final extraction. Products such as neutraceutical organic juices and medicine capsules will be marketed not only in Pakistan but exported to Japan, Europe and North America.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


This is the launch of Quartermaines's World! I have developed three blogs, Q's World is my personal blog open to close friends and relatives only, FoodWorks is,of course, my company blog describing my work in agribusiness and food, Boom Generation Fitness ( is about health and fitness (mind and body) for the Baby Boom Generation - those over 50. All of this is driven thru the domain via Google Apps and my principal email addresses are now: (personal), (business) and (pleasure). Please enjoy the blogs and comments are always welcome.

Friday, November 09, 2007


The Pakistan Horticulture and Export Development Board is the leading organisation in this country for promoting an industry that contributes 12% to agricultural GDP and for which there is enormous potential. Pakistan grows the full range of horticultural crops from tropical bananas in coastal Sindh, through mango and citrus in Punjab, apples and grapes in Balochistan to apricots, peaches and unique medicinal plants such as Sea Buckthorn in the Himalayan foothills. Floriculture is another sub-sector that offers huge opportunities for investment. FoodWorks (via the Competitive Support Fund) is working with PHDEB and an inter-ministerial Task Force to formulate initiatives covering all aspects of the industry. However the focus is on improving quality especially via infrastructure. A multi-million dollar project financed by the World Bank entitled the "Northern Trade Corridor" includes provision for building packhouses, cool storage facilities and a pool of reefer containers. For more information check out the PHDEB website at or contact the CEO Mr. Shamoon Sadiq on