Ghazni farmers demand cold storage facilities
GHAZNI CITY (Pajhwok): Orchard owners and businessmen on Monday complained they incurred losses each year in the absence of cold storage facilities in southern Ghazni province.
Traders and farmers say they need cold storages to keep their fresh fruits and vegetables from decaying.
A trader and resident of Qarah Bagh district, Mohammad Akram, told Pajhwok Afghan News the lack of cold storage facilities had landed farmers in trouble.
He said farmers in Ghazni sold their produce to traders from other provinces and farmers could earn more if they kept their harvests in cold storages for some time.
Mohammad Akram said the prices of fruits and vegetables were low during their harvest. “Even farmers end up in losses when they sell their produce, but if cold storages are built, growers will keep their products for some time to sell them against reasonable prices.”
Another trader, Rahimullah, said farmers lost half of their produce to the absence of cold storages.
“At the harvest time, prices remain low and farmers do not sell their produce which gets rotten after some time.”
Hamidullah, who owns orchards of grape, apple and potato in Deh Yak district, said if he timely sold his harvests, he would incur losses and if he kept the produce, it would decay.
Another grower in Qarah Bagh district, Mohammad Ashraf, said since they lacked access to cold storages, traders should not buy their products at throw-away rates because they could keep the products in cold storages in other provinces.
These farmers urged the government to build cold storages in Ghazni so they could avoid losses in their harvests and promote their businesses.
Ghazni Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation director Sultan Hussain Abbasyar told Pajhwok Afghan News that cold storages could not be established due to the lack of electricity in the province.
He said there were two cold storage facilities one each in Ghazni City, the provincial capital, and Maqur district, but the facilities were not functional due to the absence of electricity.
“I admit farmers are facing problems in the absence of cold storages, but if we operate cold storages through privately produced electricity then the tariff would surpass the prices of products.”
He said fruits produced in Ghazni were also exported to neighbouring countries and if cold storage facilities were built and electrified, it would help increase the exports.
Besides various kinds of vegetables, fruits like grapes, apple, apricot, black cherry, peach and others are produced in Ghazni province and exported to other provinces and Pakistan and Iran.
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