Samangan grapes yield sees huge boost
AIBAK (PAN): Grapes production in the Feroz Nakhchar district of northern Samangan province has increased to 6,000 tonnes in 2012 from last year’s figure of 5,000 tonnes, officials said on Sunday.
Deputy Director of Agriculture Noor Mohammad estimated this year’s yield would earn the district 204 million afghanis in revenue, compared to the 2011 income of 150 million afs.
The reason behind the higher yield is the increased area brought under grapes cultivation plus suitable climatic and soil conditions.
One kilogram of grapes accounts for 50afs ($1) in Kabul and 35afs in the district, the official, while pointing to the favorable market for the fruit.
He said 800 hectares of land had been cultivated with grapes in the district, where 98 percent of residents were reliant on agriculture.
A resident of Chinargai village, Mohammad Rahim, said his four-acre gardens had produced 18 tonnes of grapes last year. But this year, he expects a bumper harvest of 23 tonnes.
In 2011, Rahim earned 570,000 afs from the fruit. He hopes for an income of 760,000 afs this year.
According to agriculture officials, nearly 70 percent of the yield is exported to neighbouring Pakistan and the rest sold in the domestic market.
Fruit merchants prefer purchasing the late-maturing Taifi variety because of its delicious taste, fine quality and resistance to going rotten during transportation.
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