Rains damage grape gardens in Paktika
SHARAN (PAN): Residents and orchard owners in the southeastern province of Paktika say recent rains caused them big losses, destroying their grape gardens.
"Previously, we earned 1200,000 to 1500,000 afghanis ($25,115 to 31,393) annually. But this year, our income could be less than 200,000 afghanis" said an orchard owner in Sra Qala area.
Living on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Sharan, Haji Sharif told Pajhwok Afghan News 90 percent of grape gardens had been destroyed by rains.
Another resident said that his gardens had that produced about 28,000 kilograms of grapes in the past.
"People are unwilling to buy rain-damaged grapes," he added. In the past, fruit merchants come to the province from different areas to purchase grapes, according to him. But this year, they decided against buying the fruit.
"Rains have washed away our year-long efforts. The grapes are neither eatable nor fit for drying into raisins," said Abdul Razaq, an orchard owner.
In the Mist area of Yousafkhel district, however, grape gardens have not been affected, trader Bashir said.
Resident Nawab asked the agriculture department to compensate orchard owners.
Agriculture Director Hamidullah Tokhi, who confirmed the losses inflicted on orchard owners, said a delegation would be formed to assess the losses. "We will try to compensate them."
Orchard owners in Ghazni province also complained about losses caused by rains. They said that grape gardens had been damaged in several districts.
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