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Helmand’s melon, watermelon produce hit hard by drought

Helmand’s melon, watermelon produce hit hard by drought

Jul 31, 2018 - 17:16

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Some farmers in southern Helmand province have suffered heavy financial losses as their watermelon and melon crops have been hit by natural disasters.

Agha Wali, a farmer from the Karezinfo-icon locality on the outskirts of Lashkargah, told Pajhwok Afghan News the crops on tens of acres of land in the area had been destroyed due to diseases and natural disasters.

Agricultureinfo-icon Department officials encouraged us to grow watermelon and melon. They promised providing us pesticides and shared fruitful ideas about boosting the yield. But they didn’t keep the promises,” he said.

Another grower named Sanaullah also said the government has urged them not to cultivate opium poppy on their lands. The authorities promised them all possible support in return.

“I cultivated melon on 4.5 acres, spending a lot of money. But today, I transported only 300 melons to the market,” he said.

“I had to sell the produce at an all-time low rate for two reasons: One, the fruit was about to rot, Two, there isn’t any storage facility in the market,” he complained. He had to be content with 15,000 afghanis,

Syed Gul, another farmer, said: “This year, the crops were damaged by a drought and most of watermelon and melon orchards didn’t do well and were parched due to the drought,” he said.

He asked agriculture officials if they were not willing to financially support the affected farmers, they should give them advice and suggestions.



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