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Samangan farmers receive fund to revive Asafetida herb

Samangan farmers receive fund to revive Asafetida herb

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Nov 19, 2019 - 18:02

AIBAK (Pajhwok): The World Food Program (WFP) has provided 24 million afghanis in aid to farmers in northern Samangan province for revival of Asafetida medical herb in Afghanistan.

Asafetida is a wild herb and is one of the country’s key exports. It can be found on mountains of Takhar and Badakhshan provinces in the northeastern regions of Afghanistan.

A huge part of the herb disappeared due to wrong method of collection and it is almost now on the verge of extinction in the area.

Mohammad Rahman Arghandiwal, Samangan Agriculture Department head, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the white juice of the herb could be extracted from the roots of the herb and a kilogram of the juice cost $100 in the province.

He said the herb would previous grow on mountains of Samangan, but it faced a total disappearance due to wrong methods of collection.

However, he said the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) planned to revive the herb on Samangan mountains.

Arghandiwal said the WFP assisted 24 million afghanis through Work Program in cooperation with the Agriculture Department for revival of the herb. WFP distributed the fund to 960 farmers in Samangan, he added.

In the first phase, farmers would receive 10,000 afghanis each for two months to facilitate rehabilitation of the herb by digging cavities on Samangan mountains, he said.

He added farmers had so far dug 700,000 cavities on 800 hectares of land on mountains around Aibak city, the provincial capital.

Arghandiwal said in the second phase, farmers would plant Asafetida herb in cavities and grow them for a period of three months during which farmers will receive 15,000 afghanis each. He said Asafetida plants were provided by the Agriculture Department of the province.

Amanullah, head of Development Council in Rubatak village of Aibak city, welcomed the effort and said they would plant 150,000 Asafetida trees on 50 acres of land in their village.

He said 150 farmers worked preparing cavities for a period of two months and each farmer received 10,000 afghanis for their work.

mds/ma

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