Colds snap damages Samangan almond gardens
AIBAK (PAN): Local officials on Thursday said the ongoing heavy snowfall and cold weather had destroyed most of almond trees in northern Samangan province.
“Almond gardens are the main source of income for residents of the province as they receive millions of afghanis in revenue from them each year,” the agriculture director said.
Syed Rafiullah Roshanzada told Pajhwok Afghan News about 50 percent of almond trees had been damaged as a result of heavy snowfall and harsh weather conditions.
He cited a survey conducted by his department, saying the worst damage was caused to gardens in central parts of Aibak, the provincial capital, and Hazrat Sultan and Khurm-i-Sarbagh districts.
Abdul Sattar, another agriculture department official, said their statistics indicated almond gardens covered more than 4,500 hectares of land in the province. Last year’s almond production in Samangan worked out at 1,400 tonnes worth $6,000,000 million (295,920,000afs).
“The survey shows almond production has reduced by a half this year and the gardeners are expected to earn $3,000,000 from -- thanks to heavy snowfalls and cold weather,” he said.
Eng. Abdul Majeed Khairkhwa, project coordinator at the agriculture department, said the cold weather had destroyed 70 percent of fruit-bearing trees, including figs, pomegranates and grapes.
Shahabuddin, a gardener in the Hassankhel area on the outskirts of Aibak, recalled his almond garden earned him $30,290 in 2011, but this year, the same income would decline because many trees had been damaged by the cold snap.
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