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10,000 pine nut farmers to get collection tools in Khost

10,000 pine nut farmers to get collection tools in Khost

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Sep 18, 2019 - 18:53

KHOST CITY (Pajhwok): Officials say 10,000 people in areas home to pine nut trees would receive tools for professional collection of the dried fruit in southeastern Khost province.

Local official say the tools would be distributed under the National Horticulture and Livestock Project (NHLP) program of the Ministry of Agricultureinfo-icon, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL).

Khost agriculture officials say distribution of the tools would help increase pine nuts production by 40 percent in the pronvce.

Almar Khan, a farmer in Qalandar district, told Pajhwok Afghan News that they unprofessionally collected pine nuts until now.

He said now as he was equipped with new and advanced tools, his pine nut produce and income would increase.

“We would previously use a hook for shaking branches of pine nut trees but the branches would get broken, now we have a hook that works with a button and it does not damage the trees,” he said.

Another farmer of pine nuts from Spira district of Khost, Rohullah said that pine nut trees were tall and the tools they had received would help collect the fruit from trees easily.

“We had been facing many problems as climbing a pine nut tree is very hard, some trees are short but other are very tall, but using the new tools, we collect the fruit with ease,” he said.

On the other hand, Inayatullah Zaland, head of NHLP in southeastern region, said that the aim of distribution of the tools was to standardize collection of pine nut fruit.

He said the NHLP program would also build a pine nut processing factory in the province if the fruit’s collection tools yielded positive result.

“The benefit of these tools is that they do not damage the pine cones during collection of fruit and it also prevents the fruit from falling to the ground,” he said.

According to figures, 44,000 tons of pine nut is collected annually from across the country, with the bulk 30,000 tons is collected in Paktia jungles.

Khost agriculture director Eng. Hafizullah Shah Noori said that most of farmers in the province collected pine nuts unprofessionally and that was the reason they distributed new tools for that.

According to reports, a large amount of the pine nut produced in Paktia is smuggled to Pakistaninfo-icon through Angoor Ada and Wana routes.

mds/ma

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