Pakistan’s biggest date market sees huge Ramadan demand

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Stock of freshly arrived dates at the market in Karachi. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Dates are being displayed to attract customers at the market in Karachi. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Dates are being loaded on a van for supply. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed).
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Dates are loaded on a van at the dates market in Karachi. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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People are buying dates from a vender. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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People buy dates from a stall at Dates Market. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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People buy dates at Khajoor Market for iftar in Karachi. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Stock of dates availabe for Ramadhan at Dates Market in Karachi (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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A view of the Dates Market in Karachi. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
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Buying and selling goes on at city's dates market, Karachi. (Photo by Khurshid Ahmed)
Updated 17 May 2018
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Pakistan’s biggest date market sees huge Ramadan demand

  • Karachi’s Khajoor Market caters to the whole country’s needs
  • Pakistan is the world’s fifth-largest producer of dates, with annual production of 650,000 tons

KARACHI: With the onset of Ramadan, commercial activities gather pace at the largest date market in Pakistan, where retailers and wholesalers rush to purchase the most sought-after commodity in the country during the Muslim fasting month.

Khajoor Market is situated in the Lyari area of Karachi. Established before the creation of Pakistan in 1947, the market has started thriving once again since security in Karachi has considerably improved following recent operations by law-enforcement agencies.
While selling dates can be lucrative at any time of the year, the business acquires greater momentum in the run-up to Ramadan. 
This is reflected in a sudden increase in the number of venders in the area, from 100 shops and kiosks to sometimes nearly 200.
The market not only caters to Karachi’s needs but also other parts of the country. Pakistan meets 50 percent of its demand by importing dates from Iran, though it also buys significant quantities from Iraq, Saudi Arabia and other states. 
But most importers and dealers complain about cumbersome import processes. “We’re facing problems due to import permits that… not only increase our costs but consume a lot of time,” Hanif Baloch, chairman of the market association, told Arab News, adding that freight costs have also gone up.
Due to high demand for dates during Ramadan, retailers and wholesalers raise prices. “Dates that are usually available for 70-80 Pakistani rupees ($0.61-$0.69) per kilogram are now sold for more than 120 rupees,” said retailer Ahmed Hussain.
The world’s fifth-largest producer of dates, Pakistan is focusing on increasing local production — currently about 650,000 tons per year — since the country is situated in an agro-ecological area where high-quality dates can grow on a massive scale. Sindh province contributes around 50 percent of dates.
Muslims worldwide like breaking their fast with dates, which are a good source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, iron, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, magnesium and zinc. They are also a good source of energy since they contain sugar and fiber.


What We Are Reading Today: The River Ki by Sawako Ariyoshi

Updated 25 May 2019
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What We Are Reading Today: The River Ki by Sawako Ariyoshi

The River Ki, short and swift and broad like most Japanese rivers, flows into the sea not far south of Osaka. On its journey seaward, it passes through countryside that has long been at the heart of the Japanese tradition. 

The River Ki dominates the lives of the people who live in its fertile valley and imparts a vital strength to the three women, mother, daughter and granddaughter, around whom this novel is built.

It provides them with the courage to cope, in their different ways, with the unprecedented changes that occurred in Japan between the last years of the last century and the middle of this century.

Sawako Ariyoshi, one of Japan’s most successful modern novelists, describes this social and cultural revolution largely through the eyes of Hana, a woman with the vision and integrity to understand the inevitability of the death of the traditional order in Japan, says a review published on googlereads.com.

Ariyoshi writes with a love for detail bound to a broader understanding of the importance of the geographical and biological forces that mold her characters — and the result is a story that flows with all the vitality of The River Ki itself.