Sar-i-Pul grape yield up, but rates down
SAR-I-PUL (Pajhwok): Farmers said on Friday the production of grapes in northern Sar-i-Pul province had considerably increased this year, but the market had been bearish.
Lack of electricity and cold storage facilities for product are among the major complaints of growers, who urged the authorities to take concrete steps to resolve their problems.
Mohammad Asif, a grower from the Surkhak village of the provincial capital, told Pajhwok Afghan News he was pleased with his grape harvest, but the price had been far from satisfactory.
He complained there was no cold storage in the province. He collected the crop and sold it in line with market demand. "This has resulted in 7 kilograms of grapes selling for only to 120 afs (less than $2)."
The farmer asked the government to create cold storage facilities, find them a profitable market and set up juice-manufacturing factories in Sar-i-Pul to encourage gardeners and enhance their income.
Mohammad Sharif, another grower from the same village, confirmed the grape yield had multiplied three folds this year. But he is disappointed by the absence of the requisite facilities and low prices.
"Last year, the yield was pretty low, but the price was as high as 190 afs per 7 kilograms," he recalled, regretting the rate slump. Cold storages would help prevent the grapes going rotten, he argued.
Agriculture and Livestock Director Mohammad Jafar Amirzai confirmed by the gardeners’ problems and called the absence of cold storages a big challenge to them.
He explained the Ministry of Agriculture planned to construct two huge cold storages in the province, but a shortage of electricity impeded implementation of the projects.
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