Kapisa pomegranate growers happy with bumper crop
MAHMOOD RAQI (Pajhwok): Pomegranate farmers in central Kapisa province, happy with this year’s bumper crop, say sales of the fruit have brought them higher incomes.
The higher yield and incomes were linked to fewer natural disasters during the year, said Malik Afzal, a resident of Tagab district, which is famous for pomegranate production
“Compared to previous years, our orchards produced more pomegranatein 2015 and we sold them at higher prices and earned more revenue, he told Pajhwok Afghan News.
In the past, the grower recalled, the fruit was attacked by multiple diseases, affecting the yield. But this season, he said, there were fewer attacks and hence a considerably higher yield.
Shaghasi, another farmer from Tagab, said his orchard produced juicier and more delicious pomegranate. Insecurity, natural disasters and plant bugs took a heavy toll on their crop in previous years.
“Despite fighting, we collected more pomegranates and sold them at higher prices.More than 150,000 afghanis were offered for less than half an acre of a pomegranate garden,” he said.
A businessman from Tagab, Khalil, exported pomegranate to Pakistan’s northwestern city of Peshawar. The fruit was sold at a good price in Peshawar, whereclients liked it.
He said Tagab’s pomegranate was transferred from Peshawar to Karachi and Lahore ports before being exported to India and Arab countries. This year, he added, farmers and traders were happy with their incomes.
“If the government paves the ground for exporting the fruit to Europe, we can earn a lot more. Unfortunately, the authorities have done nothing in this regard,” Khalil regretted.
Agriculture Director Wali Ahmad Tassal said they had conducted training workshops for farmers. The department had helped growers with fertilisers, improved seeds and pesticides diseases, he concluded.
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