ASADABAD (Pajhwok): The Agriculture and Livestock Department of eastern Kunar province says citrus fruit yield has increased by more than 400 tons in the province this year.
Hayatullah, an official of the department, told Pajhwok Afghan News on Tuesday the sweet orange harvest increased by 10 percent this year after newly grown orchards started bearing fruits.
“Kunar’s climate suits sweet orange, lemon and bitter orange and therefore people’s attention to planting their orchards has increased recently.”
Last year’s yield of citrus was 3,600 tons and it jumped to 4,080 tons this year, he said, adding that sweet orange orchards were grown on about 500 acres of land in Kunar during the past 20 years and most of these gardens had started bearing the fruit.
Farmers also confirmed this year’s sweet orange harvest was better than last year in terms of quality and quantity.
Zabihullah, a resident of Shinkok village in Shaigal district, said: “My garden started producing the fruit three years ago, but this year’s harvest was higher than last year’s and the quality was also good.”
He sold citrus worth 100,000 afghanis from his three-acre garden last year and this year the value of the harvest was about 200,000 afghanis.
Rahmatullah, a resident of Wata Pur district, said he owned two-acre citrus garden and its yield was better than last year in terms of quality and quantity.
However, he said farmers struggled with paucity of irrigation water and the government should build a regular water system and provide farmers with chemical fertilizers and medicines.
He said: “Kunar’s climate is very suitable for citrus gardens which give good results, therefore we ask the government to increase efforts at promoting horticulture.”
Thousands of acres of citrus orchards exist in Wata Pur, Manogi, Chapa Dara, Shaigal, Khas Kunar and other districts.