3 Laghman cold storage facilities to be privatised
JALALBAD (Pajhwok): Three cold storage facilities for agriculture products would be handed over to the private sector in eastern Laghman province, an official said on Tuesday.
The facilities are located in Alingar, Qarghayee districts and the provincial capital, Mehtarlam. They are yet to get electricity and hence the delay in their becoming functional.
The governor’s spokesman, Sarhadi Zwak, told Pajhwok Afghan News the provincial administration was planning to extend electricity to the Qarghai storage facility before handing it over to the private sector.
However, he did not go into details about the possible contractor, but added the facilities would encourage farmers to grow vegetables instead of poppy crop.
The remaining two facilities would be handed over to the private sector on contracts, he said and hoped the privatization would have a positive impact on the agriculture sector.
Laghman Agriculture Director Eng. Ismail told Pajhwok Afghan News each storage facility had the capacity to store 450 metric tonnes of agriculture produce, but they could not be made functional in the absence of electricity.
He said they could not extend electricity to the storage facility in Alingar, but the facilities in Qarghai and Mehtarlam would be provided power soon from the Naghlu hydropower dam.
“The Breshna Sherkat has promised to resolve the issue of electricity and the Qarghayee storage facility will be soon made functional.”
Local farmers said if the storage facilities were made functional, they would be able to find market for their products.
Haji Amanullah, the leader of vegetable and fruit producers union in Mehtarlam, said farmers would benefit from the storage facilities if made functional.
A farmer in the city, Mohammad Asif, said he owned two acres of land which he used to grow cucumbers and other vegetables. He said he had no option but to sell vegetables at lower rates.
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