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Paktia begins planting 2.2m pine nuts, walnuts trees

Paktia begins planting 2.2m pine nuts, walnuts trees

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Mar 24, 2019 - 15:48

GARDEZ (Pajhwok): The plantation of 2.2 million pine nuts and walnuts saplings kicked off in southeastern Paktia province on Sunday, a process that would take three years to complete, the governor said.

Governor Shamim Khan Katawazai told Pajhwok Afghan News the strategy had been formulated by the local administration and was being implemented after approval from the president.

He said the three year plantation scheme would be stretched to Khost and Paktika provinces as well.

According to Katawazai, once the pine nuts and walnuts trees started production, the government and farmers would earn millions of afghanis in revenue.

Stressing over protection of the forest, he said: “I have told all district administrators to treat as enemies of the country those who cut down the jungle.”

He urged the people to protect the saplings and play their part in plantation of more trees.

Agricultureinfo-icon Director Mohammaduddin said the three year project was being implemented in Janikhel, Zazai Aryub, Chamkani, Shawak and Garda Serai districts of Paktia with the help of nursery owners, farmers and the Agriculture Department would provide technical support.

He said 1,080,000 walnuts and as many pine nuts saplings would be planted on 27,000 hectares of land. The saplings would be cultivated in nurseries run by families and the first  year budget for the project would be 5.14 million afghanis, for the second year 8.31 million afghanis and for the third year 62 million afghanis.

Farmers evinced great interest in plantation of the seedlings and assured their support in this regard.

Hameed, one of the farmers, said: “It is a good project but seed and personnel provided for the project are not enough. First the technical team should identify places where pine nuts and walnuts can grow.”

It is worth mentioning that Paktia produces thousands of tones of pine nuts and walnuts annually. In the past, these dry fruit were transferred to Pakistaninfo-icon from where it was exported to other countries.

nh/ma

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