Question. I want to develop a vineyard but have no idea how to proceed. What are the pros and cons? What variety of grapes do you recommend? Should I get the vines from Quetta?
Answer. First and foremost, this can be a very costly, time and labour intensive, undertaking all depending on the size of land involved and it will be three to five years before you can expect any financial return at all. Then there is the matter of the land you have available for this purpose. Not all land is suitable for grape growing: soil conditions must be perfect, drainage excellent, lots of water readily and reliably on site and much, much more. Enterprise must, of course, be encouraged but it is also of extreme importance that full appreciation is given to everything involved and — providing that land, etc. is suitable — you will need to be very dedicated and hard working indeed. Personally speaking, I have doubts as to the soil and climatic suitability of the area in which you wish to create a vineyard and I strongly recommend that you contact Faisalabad Agricultural University and Arid Agriculture University, Rawalpindi for full guidance as to all of the details involved. I am not aware of any existing vineyards in your area but there are successful ones in the vicinity of Simly Dam and it would be a good idea to arrange an educational visit there if you possibly can.