The delicious dates of Mekuran
BY Zakir Qadir Shams
Mekuran covering an area of 72,944 square kilometer is a division, like a paradise of the natural resources of Balochistan comprising on districts of Gawadar, Turbat and Panjgure. According to the encyclopedia Britannica, Mekuran is bordering in east are situated Khuzdar and Lasbela districts, in south along with Arabian Sea, in west situated Iran, and in north the Siahan range.
The chief spring crops (jopag) of Makran are wheat and barley, and the autumn season crop (eraht) os Jowar (sorghum). Dates are the main production of Makran which are very famous for this unique varieties and deliciousness.
The scientific name of the Date is ‘Phoenix dactylifera’. The date palm (maach) grows about 12 to 30 feet. Its stem, strongly marked with pruned stubs of old leaf bases, terminates in a crown of graceful, shining, pinnate leaves about 5 meters(16f feet) long. Male and female flowers flourish on separate plants. Under cultivation the females are artificially pollinated process in Mekuran is called Maach Osp, a stalk of the male flower is inserted into a small incision male in the core of the top of female tree. More than thousand dates appease on a single bunch weighing 8kg (18) or more. The fruit gets ripened in the month of July. Then each date is picked individually while harvesting or the entire bunch is cut. The harvesting season in Mekuran is called “Aamen”, starts from July and ends in September. After harvesting dates get dried, in this way, it contains more than 50 percent protein, fat and other matters.
Hundreds of varieties of dates have been discovered in Mekuran. The prominent researcher and author Dr. Hameed Baloch in his book, Mekuran Uhd-e- Kadeem se Uhe-e-Jadeed tak”, writes the names of following varieties of date discovered in Mekuran:
1)Aapdandan 2) Bygamjngi 3) Halaynee
4) Chapshuk 5) Nazani 6) Kounz niad
7) Muzatee 8) Zard-e- Kallagi 9) Arrisht
10) Barr-i-shakari 11) Dandari 12) Sabzo
13) Rabia 14) Dandari-gon 15) Gurbgo
16) Shingish-Kand 17) Hargi 18) Sherhri
19) Siah-dop 20) Miri-e-zard 21) Panidi
22) Miri-e-surk 23) Jowan-aabo shams 24) Goari
25) Pono 26) Bindak 27) Pash-pag
28) Irdiki 29) Shakari 30) Kalut
31) Reko 32) Napagi 33) Khalas
34) Shapago 35) Ichko 36) Pard
37) Zarabad 38) Siah Gwnak 39) Shoren app-dandan
40) Haleni-gon 41) Dishtari 42) Rogini
43) Rogini Bulidia 44) Shuksh 45) Nazan dazi
46) Jowana Jamkki 47) Aap-rogin 48) Chepshuk kulonti
49) Jonzo 50) Masudi 51) Rago
52) Anguro 53) Nasua 54) Wash kung
55) Gonzal 56) Bor 57) Keleri
58) Umbi 59) Kungo 60) Jalagi Mulki
61) Jalagi Kohi 62) Jalagi Rustai 63) Husseni
64) Charpan 65) Makili 66) Jawana Siakasz
67) Sadrami 68) Sharai 69) Kalesuk
70) Kaler 71) Kiksi 72) Boal
73) Kaspaso 74) Mathab Taza 75) Kanaro
76) Pesh-nah 77) wash-nah 78) Pull
79) Challo 80) Dos-nah 81) Posto
82) Gog-nah 83) Kala dizzaki 84) Ari
85) Sunt Gurag 86) Kuroch 87) Barni
88) Baz Khudabun 89) Sohr-dana 90) Musali
91) Sibil 92) Passamo 93) Kalag dir
94) Kulonti 95) Wakhshi 96) Wash Kulont
97) Wash Kuiont 98) Asami 99) Puppo
100) Shunsh 101) Pachki 102) Zard-e-rais
103) Kahraba 104) Suhr 105) Lango
106) Hush kich 107) Javn Sure
The tragedy is that no plant existing for dates processing in Mekuran and transportation is much troublesome within and out of the region, despite these excellent quality flavor and color. The exporters are not motivated to create domestic or overseas markets about these dates.
The high quality dates of Mekuran must be given due value. Processing plants and markets must be established in Turbat and Panjure. The buyers and sellers should be inter-connected and export of dates to abroad requisite, too.
Another most appalling tragedy about dates growing is that these are getting devalued economically because as the Palm trees are affected by a worm called Dabas Bug. The dates growing is main industry of Mekuran and it once gives production in year but pest feeds the leaves as a dubes of Palm tree which is scientifically known as ommatissus lybicus. This affects the date plant to photosynthesis and multiplies to sever infestation along the whole tree, which gets hollow and then falls down.