Kohinoor International, Sea buckthorns and mitigating poverty in Karakoram mountain range

HealthKohinoor International, Sea buckthorns and mitigating poverty in Karakoram mountain range

Islamabad, Pakistan: Poverty and mountains in South Asia are by-words due to several reasons including the reality that state institutions either do not have enough resources to mitigate poverty or lack the interest because parliamentarian rules in South Asian countries go for power of vote for developing regions. Since mountain areas have fewer votes, less population, and fewer constituency seats in the national parliament. Therefore, political parties do not give such areas priority.

The poverty and vulnerability in the Karakoram mountain range is an undeniable reality and development in mountain areas and the practices of people in these areas are uniquely conditioned by distinct characteristics that experts term “mountain specificities”. Some of these specificities—such as inaccessibility, fragility, and marginality—constrain development. Others—such as abundant biological diversity, ecological niches, and adaptation mechanisms are development opportunities for mountain people but mostly they are not used in adequate manners.

   

Country-level estimates mask significant inequities between mountainous and non-mountainous regions, as well as within mountainous areas. The acute shortage of mountain-specific poverty data makes knowledge-building a high priority.

Apart from remoteness, poor accessibility, and high dependence on natural resources, major determinants of poverty and vulnerability in the region are socioeconomic inequities, conflicts, gender inequities, and caste/ethnicity-based discrimination Karakoram mountain range is one such remote region that is home to millions of indigenous peoples is economically, socially, and politically marginalized and people in the range experience higher costs of living due to factors such as heating costs, food prices, and access to public services.

In these circumstances, one of the hopes of people of such mountainous areas is an initiative taken by the private sector that can reach remote areas, find local products to sell, and provide capacity building and economic opportunities to people. One such company in the Karakoram mountain range is Kohinoor International which discovered Sea buckthorn as a product in 2017/2018 and started working on it with its International Network and finally started its export.

By working in a remote area such as Ghursay village, a district of Ghanche Baltistan which is around 30 Km away from the remote town of Khaplu, the company is not only helping Pakistan to have valuable foreign exchange but that process also creates a lot of Jobs for the local community. It particularly supports women cadre of the area to have a good earning during the Sea Buckthorn processing. The company also did training for labors here in order to make the quality as per international standards.

Kohinoor International, Sea Buckthorn and mitigating poverty in Karakoram mountain range

Kohenoor International, established in 1957, boasts a rich history of success. With a global presence spanning 52 countries, the company has become a leader in the production, processing, and export of various product segments: including forage seeds, legume seeds, oil seeds, sprouting seeds, as well as culinary essentials like herbs, spices, and dried nuts.

Distinguished by our advanced research and development capabilities, the company specializes in prime products such as alfalfa seed, sorghum seed, protein grass, and Persian clover seed, catering to diverse regions including Europe, Africa, the Gulf, Russia, Australia, and North and South America.

Sea buckthorns are small fruits purely wild and organic, averaging 6 to 9 millimeters in diameter, and have an oblate to round shape, growing in clustered groupings along the plant’s branches. It mostly grown at 8000 to 10000 feet above sea level. The fruit’s surface is also taut, glossy, and smooth, ripening into golden yellow, dark orange, or red shades, depending on the variety Sea Buckthorn is a shrub fruit having rich vitamins and several other bioactive benefits. There are found large amounts of Sea Buckthorn in Gilgit Baltistan. This medicinal plant contains various carotenoids, tocopherols, ascorbic acid or vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B complex, organic acids, and zinc. This medical plant is still largely unexplored in the world due to the negligence of locals who did not know about the benefits of Sea Buckthorn. Like other countries of the world, in Pakistan this plant is traditionally known as a medicinal plant, it is mostly available in Skardu, Khaplu, Ghizer, Hunza, and Shigar areas.

Seasons/Availability

For the farmers in the Karakoram Mountains, sea buckthorn is the last crop ripening process from September to November, whereby collection is still possible until December. Traditionally, some berries are harvested and brought into the local market in dried form for sale.  Due to unawareness, Sea Buckthorn is used as fuel during the winter season.  There are large markets in China and Europe markets. Traditional, people use the process of sun drying.

What is Sea Buckthorn?

Sea buckthorn means the hippophae rhomboids family, which literally translates to glossy horse. The ancient Greeks noticed the remarkable changes in horse’s appearance after eating sea buckthorn fruit. While the berries made their coat healthier, they also helped the horses’ digestive system. It is mentioned here that, the sea buckthorn is still used as a gastric supplement for horses.

Benefits of Sea Buckthorn

Some benefits of Sea Buckthorn are as under:

  1. Sea Buckthorn Oil

Sea Buckthorn berry oil is extracted using supercritical CO2, which extracts lipid components in a gentle, safe, and chemical-free way. The whole process is done in a clean environment, excluding any external impurities. This oil can be sourced from the sea buckthorn seeds or berries and is considered the most valuable component of the plant

  1. Rich in many nutrients

Sea buckthorn is completely full of various vitamins, minerals, and various beneficial compounds. It helps to protect your body against aging and illnesses like cancer and heart disease. Its berries are especially rich in vitamins A, C, K, and E containing considerable amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and zinc. Sea buckthorn seeds and leaves are rich in phytosterols.

  1. For Skin

Sea buckthorn oil has been used as a medicine for human beings’ skins for centuries. It contains; fat, antioxidants, phytosterols, carotenoids, and vitamins E and K, which function together to protect your skin’s integrity and promote its renewal. Sea buckthorn oil can be used to treat burns and promote wound healing.

  1. Promote Heart Health

Sea buckthorn oil is very effective for the heart health of human beings.  It is rich in phytosterols, which help to promote heart health and block the absorption of cholesterol from your diet, which can help prevent LDL cholesterol from creating blockages in your blood vessels and arteries. Sea buckthorn oil is a good source of quercetin, an antioxidant that is directly linked with a lower risk of heart disease.

  1. To Reduce Blood Sugar Levels

Sea buckthorn oil helps to prevent diabetes and is very effective in supporting healthy blood sugar. The research shows that it may help reduce blood sugar levels by increasing insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity in the human body.

  1. Boost Your Immune System

Sea buckthorn oil may be used to protect your body against infections. It contains Flavonoids, which are beneficial plant compounds that may strengthen our immune system. Sea buckthorn oil also contains a very large amount of antioxidants, which may also defend our body against microbes.

  1. May Support Liver Health

Sea buckthorn oil may support our liver health as it contains healthy fats, vitamin E, and carotenoids, all of which may safeguard liver cells from damage. Sea buckthorn oil significantly improved markers of liver function in rats with liver damage.

  1. May Have Anticancer Effects

For instance, sea buckthorn is rich in quercetin, a flavonoid that appears to help kill cancer cells.

  1. To our digestion system

Animal studies indicate that sea buckthorn oil may help and treat our digestive and stomach systems.

  1. For symptoms of menopause

It may reduce vaginal drying and act as an effective alternative treatment for postmenopausal women who cannot take estrogen.

  1. For dryness of the eyes

One study linked daily sea buckthorn intake to reduced eye redness and burning.

  1. For growth improvement of human hairs

Sea buckthorn contains small amounts of lecithin, a type of fat that may remove excess oil from your hair. It may also help repair damaged hair and restore its elasticity.

Uses Sea Buckthorn Powder

The sea buckthorn is available in markets, both in liquid and powder form. The traditional best way to use powder is with food. It is also in the form of Jams, which can be used as uses for other fruit jams.

By following the path of Kohinoor International, global, regional, and national companies should allocate resources for the development of mountain-specific poverty reduction policies to address key factors like the social and economic well-being of indigenous and marginalized communities inhabiting mountains.

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