Tajikistan to buy Takhar seedlings in large quantity
TALOQAN (Pajhwok): Hundreds of thousands of fruit and ornamental tree seedlings are to be exported to neighbouring Tajikistan from northern Takhar province this year, an official said on Tuesday.
Agriculture and Livestock director Mohammad Salim Sayee told Pajhwok Afghan News they were planning to showcase fruit bearing and ornamental seedlings at an exhibition in Taloqan in the near future.
Tajik officials were expected to visit the exhibition to be jointly arranged with Tajikistan, he said. The two countries are likely to ink an agreement on export of tree saplings from Takhar.
“Such exhibitions are held every year, in which a large number of orchard owners, government officials and common people not only from Takhar, but from several other provinces take part,” Sayee said.
He said saplings from Takhar had historically been exported to Tajikistan, but a formal agreement between the two countries would help enlarge the scale of exports.
He said horticulture had become common in Takhar, where modern nurseries had been established and every year seedlings from the nurseries were exported to a number of provinces.
Agriculture official Abdul Ala Rad Murad told Pajhwok Afghan News temperature and water of every area was being considered in export of seedlings.
“It is important to consider temperature and water conditions because seedlings grown in warm areas do not survive in cold areas. We have grown seedlings which meet environment conditions of Tajikistan and for which Tajikistan has made a demand.”
Rad Murad said the rate and the amount of seedlings to be exported to Tajikistan were yet to be discussed. He said exports of tree saplings to foreign countries resulted in improved economy of nurseries’ owners.
He said millions of tree seedlings were each year exported from Takhar to Badakhshan, Kunduz, Baghlan, Jawzjan, Sar-i-Pul, Faryab and Balkh provinces.
Meanwhile, Mohammad Raza, the head of Takhar nursery owners association, said 200,000 seedlings were ready for sale in the market, with their prices ranging from 100 afghanis to 200 afs.
He said Tajik traders bought from him 12000 seedlings of guava and cherry and took with them to their country this year.
“Tajik traders come here every year and buy thousands of seedlings and we sell them the seedlings on reasonable prices so that our seedlings are sold and we make earnings. The government should support us to promote the business.” He said each seedling cost 50 afs and each earned them 20 afs to 30 afs.
A nursery owner in Taloqan, Fakhruddin, said the business of seedlings was thriving with each passing year due to the increasing number of buyers besides their exports to Tajikistan and other countries.
“The nurseries are established for us by the Agha Khan Foundation. We are also assisted in this regard by other organizations like ACTED, Mission East (a Danish relief and development NGO) and Shelter for Life International.”
He said they had been trained in growing plants and seedlings produced in Takhar were of high quality because their production took place under the watchful eyes of engineers with the said NGOs.
The Agriculture Department says so far hundreds of nurseries have been established in Takhar and the department has issued permits to only 30 nurseries and the rest operate on their own.
Nurseries registered with the department produce standard seedlings, which have a greater capacity to resist diseases, grow fast and suit environment.
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