Most orchards found to be of low standard in Herat
HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Fruit orchards have been grown on about 11,000 hectares of land in western Herat province, but traditional and substandard methods have been used in planting the trees, agriculture officials say.
Different fruit orchards are available in Engil, Guzara, Pashtun Zarghon, Korakh, Zindajan and Ghoryan districts, but most of them are established using traditional methods without any standard.
“The plant-to-plant and row-to-row distance and annual pruning should be considered in establishing a standard orchard,” said Abdul Nasir Haidari, the chairman of nurseries owners association in the western zone.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News the first step to establish a standard orchard was to get saplings from a standard nursery.
“The second step is to maintain proper distance between plants and rows. For example apricots should be planted at 6mX6m and apple at 5mX4m distance for proper sunlight and air,” he said.
He added spraying threes, if needed, was another important thing for a standard orchard and two types of trees should not be planted in the same garden.
“New gardening techniques are useful for having good result,” Darwesh Ahmad, an orchard and nursery owner in Herat, said.
“We follow the latest and standard techniques in producing seedlings which result in the establishment of a standard orchard,” the 62-year-old said.
Horticulture manger at the Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock department, Idrees Zalal, said they had conducted hundreds of training sessions to help farmers and orchard downer design their orchards, learn new gardening methods and marketing for agricultural goods.
A lecturer at the Herat University, Abdul Rahman Omaid, said before establishing an orchard, first of all it was important to know the type of soil. “The soil should possess good texture and should be fertile and have a 1.5-metre deep horizon.”
“The second important thing for orchards is to ensure enough water is availabile and the variety of the seeding can resist pests and diseases,” he said.
He added the location of an orchard should be north-south for the penetration of sun rays into the trees.
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