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Helmand date trees produce ‘significant’ yield after grafting

Helmand date trees produce ‘significant’ yield after grafting

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Jul 15, 2018 - 20:39

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Grafted and inseminated 30 years later, date trees in southern Helmand province produced ‘a significant yield’ this year, an official says.

Rafiullah Qalam, planning and program manager at the provincial agricultureinfo-icon department, told Pajhwok Afghan News that date trees had raised on their own in various parts of Helmand province over the last 30 years.

“These trees did not yield dates in these long years, but the owner of an agricultural foundation grafted and inseminated the trees this year and they yielded significant dates,” he said.

He said the foundation grafted 152 date trees grown in government departments, houses and roadsides.

Date trees are sporadically grown in Helmand. Two gardens, one in Khanshin district contains 500 trees and another in Greshk district 250 trees.

“From this experience we learned that the climate of Helmand suits date trees, therefore we are working on a plan to set up date farms on government land in future,” he said.

Mohammad Hassan Musazai, head of Social and Public Awareness Organization in Helmand, said he had several times shared his plans about growing dates with the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation but the ministry rejected them.

“But this time, we grafted 152 trees on personal costs in order to prove to the government that dates’ trees can produce fruit here,” he said.

He said each grafted tree could produce up to 150 kilograms of dates in Helmand.

“This year, we inseminated fewer branches of the date trees and they probably produced less fruit as 30 kilograms each tree,” he said.

Musazai promised to spread awareness among Helmand people about growing date trees.

He asked the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation to take immediate steps for creating date gardens in Helmand.

Habibullah, a resident of Lashkargah city, said: “A date tree in our house did not yield fruit for several years until grafted this year. “

Baryalai, another resident of Lashkargah, said: “We also have two date’s trees in our home but they do not yield fruit.”

Besides Helmand, date trees also grow in Nangarhar province and they yield enough.

mds/ma

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