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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.

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