Samangan almond yield shoots up, but prices decline
AIBAK (Pajhwok): Almond production in northern Samangan province has increased four times over the last year, agriculture and livestock officials say.
Farmers in some parts of the province have harvested the crop in some areas of Samangan while their counterparts in other areas are still busy collecting them.
Noor Mohammad, director of agriculture and livestock, told Pajhwok Afghan News the yield in Aibak, Hazrat Sultan and KhuramSarbagh districts was used as a yardstick.
The overall yield of almond is estimated at 2,000 tonnes in 2016, comparedwith last year’s 500 tonnes.He reckoned the fruit’s value at 430 million afghanis.
Currently, per seven kilograms of almond cost 1,200 afghanis to 5,000 afghanis based on their quality in Aibak, the provincial capital, Mohammad said.
However, he added the agriculture and livestock department calculated the cost of per seven kilograms at 1,500 afghanis.
Known types of almond in Samangan are Starbayee, Khairudini, Shakorbayee, Qambari, Maroji, Sandoqi, Kaghazi and Sangak.
Residents of the province call Starbayee almond the best of all varieties.Mohammad recalled growers had earned 114 million afghanis last year.
In 2015, seven kilograms of almond accounted for 1,600 afghanis. Farmers, satisfied with the almond production this year, complain the price has dropped.
Mullah Aziz, one of the gardeners from the Hussainkhel village of Aibak, said he had planted 600 trees of almond on six acres of land.
He collected 1,295 kilograms of almond and earned 370,000 afghanisthis year.However, he said the price of the fruit had edged down this year.
Each seven kilograms of almond cost 7,500 afghanis last year, but now the price has declined to 4,500 Afghanis.
A dried fruit trader in Samangan, Haji Naqibullah, argued the price of almond had fallen due to higher production. Around four tonnes of almond have been sent to Kabul and Mazar-i-Sharif.
Naibullah added 40 percent of Samangan almond was sold inside the country and the rest exported to India, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
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