KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): A foreign-based Afghan investor has opened first of its kind agricultural laboratory in southern Kandahar province.
Eng. Samay Noori, who received education in a foreign country, is the founder of the laboratory in Kandahar.
Talking to Pajhwok Afghan News, Noori said Kandahar was one of Afghanistan’s key agricultural provinces, where 80 percent of people were associated with farming and horticulture, but a laboratory for needed for development of the sector.
He said he invested over $100,000 in the laboratory where 51 types of different tests could be performed.
These tests include pest tests from different parts of a plant such as roots, trunk, leaves and fruits, he said.
Noori said that the laboratory could also detect quality of chemical fertilizers as well as diagnose fungal, bacterial, virus, nematodes and other infections of plants.
The laboratory will help improve farming and gardening as well as agricultural production in Kandahar province, he added.
Deputy Kandahar governor, Agha Lalai Dastagir, who also attended the inauguration ceremony of the laboratory, told Pajhwok that the laboratory was an important step towards improvement of the agriculture sector in the province.
He said that the laboratory would help facilitate diagnosis of different crop diseases in Kandahar and the region.
Hazrat Wali Wali, an official of Kandahar agriculture department, said that testing soil was important for better farming results.
He asked officials of the laboratory to expand their services to other southern provinces of the country.
Kandahar growers are also happy about the opening of the laboratory and say it was their long-standing demand, finally fulfilled by the private sector.
Haji Faiz Mohammad, an orchardist from Zheri district, said pests attacked his garden each year and he had been unable to find a solution to the problem due to lack of a laboratory.
He said they would no longer face problems in diagnosing plant diseases after the opening of the laboratory in their province.
A farmer from Dand district said the laboratory would help encourage plantation of new gardens for increased production in their area.
He said farmers did not know if their farmland suited a particular plant because they had no access to a lab.
Kandahar is key exporter of fresh and dried fruits to foreign countries.