Samangan melon yield witnesses unprecedented boost
AIBAK (Pajhwok): The yield of watermelon and melon in northern Samangan province is unprecedented in 2016 with the adoption of new agricultural techniques, officials said on Wednesday.
The production level showing a 29 percent surge hit an all-time high this year when a 19 percent increase in cultivation resulted in 29 percent growth in yield.
Noor Mohammad, an official of the Irrigation and Livestock Department, told Pajhwok Afghan news watermelon and melon were cultivated on 6,350 hectares of land in 2015, but this year the fruits had been grown on 7,550 hectares of land.
Based on the department’s studies approximately 52,000 tonnes of watermelon and melon were produced last year, but the production is estimated to soar to 67,000 tonnes in 2016.
Harvest of the two fruits, which started in June month, will continue till September. According to the department’s findings, the fruits earned 445 million afghanis in 2015, compared to 580 million afs this year.
Gulbadin Ghayasi, plant protection manager at the department, linked the higher production to serious attention to cultivation, technical training of farmers, promotion of a new system and other basic improvements.
He said the agricultural department had been making efforts to improve the cultivation of these fruits over the past few years. The campaign has finally come to fruition and crop yields had shot up this year in the province.
Faiz Mohammad, resident of the Ghaznigak village of Hazrat Sultan district, told Pajhwok that melon and watermelon production in their area had shot up this year.
Agriculture officials taught farmers new cultivation methods and the use of pesticides and the change in cultivation time. Farmers would grow the fruits once a season in the past but now they cultivate them every 20 days.
Qari Taj Mohammad, a farmer from the Larkhabi area of Hazrat Sultan district, saw a 25% rise in his watermelon and melon production this year.
He called the improved system, including cultivation inside greenhouses, the main factor behind the considerable profit. This year, he has cultivated the fruits inside glasshouses, boosting the yield.
He planted watermelon and melon on 75 acres of land this year, hoping for 254,000kg and 140,000kg yields respectively. Samangan’s watermelon and melon, in addition to local sales,are also sent to Kabul, Balkh and other provinces.
Taj Mohammad said he would earn 8.1 million afs from selling his fruits.He added the price of per 7kg of watermelon was 50afs and the same quantity of melon 60afs. The fruits are widely cultivated in Farah, Jawzjan, Baghlan, Faryab, Kunduz, Balkh and other provinces.
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