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Helmand set to produce 90 metric tons of grapes this year

Helmand set to produce 90 metric tons of grapes this year

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On
Jul 15, 2019 - 15:54

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Officials in southern Helmand province expect an yield of 90 metric tons of grapes in 2019, showing a 10 percent increase over the previous year.

Although farmers are happy over the level of grape production, they are worried due to lack of cold storage facilities and suitable markets.

Agricultureinfo-icon Director Zalmay Aloko told Pajhwok Afghan News grape gardens had been established on 6,410 hectares of land in the province and growers were happy with their income.

He said: “We have been establishing 300 gardens of grapes each year with the cooperation of farmers across the province. We want to wean growers away from cultivating poppies and hashish.”

According to Aloko, the gardens would produce give 90 metric tons of grapes this year -- indicating a 10 percent increase over the previous year.

He explained 21 types of grapes were produced in the province. Besides Helmand, the grapes had a good market in other provinces as well, he added.

Abdullah, a grower in Lashkargah, expressed happiness over the grape production and said: “The yield is quite good but due to lack of cold storage and markets, we have been faced with some problems.”

Sardar Mohammad. another farmer from Nad Ali district, said they had distributed grapes free of cost last year due to lack of cold storage in the province.

If storage facilities are not not provided, growers would have to do the same thing this year as well, he warned.

A number of other gardeners held similar views and urged the authorities concerned to construct cold storage facilities and find markets for the fresh fruit.

However, Aloko assured efforts were being made to find suitable markets for Helmand grapes and thereby enable farmers to pocket enough income.

pk/mud

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