Posted by Connie R. Aponte on November 10, 2013 in Capitalist Economies |


In Zandra, the practice of cultivating apple was started by late Haji Payo Khan about 90 years ago. At that time nobody was aware of or even had an idea of what Payo Khan conceived. He inspired the idea of growing apple orchards when he visited Punjab and got impressed by the lush green fields. He wished to turn the barren land of his area into such green fields. He worked day and night, cleared stones from the land, spread new soil over it and successfully planted apple trees. In this way, he made a model orchard, which eventually proved to be fruitful. Hence, the lives of the villagers changed by following his practices in the field in the years to come.

Payo Khan, thus, not only turned the barren land into lush green orchards but also changed the fortune of the people of the village, who were initially semi-nomads. After this unprecedented work by Haji Payo Khan, they settled down permanently. In the past, the Pashtuns of this area were pastoral and used to grow few crops for their subsistence. Haji Payo Khan was the first educated person of Zandra. He was awarded with Sitara-e-Khidmat (award from Government of Pakistan) in horticulture for his revolutionary work.

He was 45 when he made the first model orchard. He died in 1970 at an age of 100 years. He had three wives and his descendants are still living there and benefiting from his work. Haji Payo Khan, the founder of apple economy became mentally retarded in the last days of his life and is still known as “the mad-man of Zandra” and the village is known as “village of mad man”.

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