KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Farmers say they have no choice but to sell their fruit harvests for throwaway prices due to lack of cold storages.
Abdul Samad, a gardener, said: “When our fruit ripens, we must sell it within a day or two otherwise it will decay, we cannot preserve them due to lack of cold storages.”
Saidullah, another orchard owner, said this year, apricots, cherries and other trees produced good yields, but their prices were low.
He added: “When we collect harvest, we must either export it or sell it here as soon as possible, otherwise it gets rotten, so when there is no opportunity for export and the fruit price is not good abroad, then we have to sell it low price, cold storages are important to preserve our products.”
Eng. Abdul Baqi Bina, deputy director of Chamber of Commerce of Kandahar, said there was a cold storage facility for fruits preservation in the province which was built with support of India.
According to him, the temperature of the cold storage for fruits and other products such as vegetables is different, but this storage has a type of air that is not suitable.
He said: “Cold storage is very important for keeping fruits, but we now have one cold storage where potatoes and other vegetable are sometimes stored, but its disadvantage is that it is not suitable for all fruits and food items.”
According to him, electricity is necessary for running cold storages and now electricity in Kandahar has improved compared to the past and officials should pay more attention to the construction of cold rooms.
Maulvi Sham-ur-Rahman Musa, an official of the Agriculture Department, says: “We have shared the issue of cold storage with the ministry.”