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Pistachio orchards to prevent poppy in Helmand



Pistachio orchards to prevent poppy in Helmand

Nov 24, 2019 - 18:33

LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Agricultureinfo-icon officials say pistachio orchards have been established in southern Helmand province to prevent poppy cultivation in the worldinfo-icon’s leading poppy producing region.

Zalmai Alko, Helmand Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Department head, told reporters here on Sunday that his department planted pistachio orchards on 162 acres of land last year.

“Helmand has wide deserts and pistachio grows will on such land, the trees have very good production last year, so we now want to expand this area,” he said.

Alko said Helmand Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Department had the plan to build 50 pistachio more gardens for farmers in Nad Ali, Khanshin, Deshu, Washir, Greshk and Garamsir districts of the province this year.

“Farmers are very interested in having pistachio orchards, another benefit of this development is prevention of poppy cultivation in the province,” he added.

Abdul Shakor Khan, head of Helmand Farmers Association, told Pajhwok Afghan News that Helmand farmers were ready to build pistachio orchards instead of growing poppy.

“The climate in Helmand suits pistachio and we are happy our farmers got pistachio orchards,” he said.

A farmer, Abdul Wali said, Helmand Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Department had built a pistachio orchard last year for him.

“Pistachio gives good results here, but the agriculture department should train us on growing pistachio trees,” he said.

Helmand is one of Afghanistaninfo-icon’s most unstable provinces where many people grow narcotics, particularly poppy.



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