Helmand farmers now mostly grow basil
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Farmers in southern Helmand province cultivated basil which yielded good production this year, agriculture minister said on Monday.
Basil is used as food, fragrance and herb for medicine in Afghanistan while it is used for treatment of different diseases abroad.
Rafiullah Qalam, director of agriculture, told Pajhwok Afghan News that farmers used to grow corn, beans, cotton and peanut in the past but they had planted basil, soybean and sesame this year and received good production.
“We don’t have exact survey but have noticed heavy cultivation of basil this year,” he added.
The basil crop has good return in terms of money abroad therefore farmers have given preference to cultivate the crop, he said, adding that directorate of agriculture has developed good plans to focus on the cultivation of basil since it could be a better replacement of opium.
Ahlullah, a farmer of Nawa district, said: “Half acre of land can produce at least 500 kilograms of basil. Farmers have cultivated basil without any proper support from the government.”
Haji Kochi, a farmer, said that 4.5 kilograms of basil could be sold at the rate of 2,000 Pak Rupees. “Basil crop has good market and demand with higher price than other crops,” he added.
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