AIBAK (Pajhwok): The Agriculture Department of northern Samangan province says almond yield recorded a whopping 60 percent decrease compared to last year’s harvest, with growers and traders complaining about lack of buyers.
Eng Khalil Karimi, an official of the agriculture department, told Pajhwok Afghan News that climate change and cold wave last winter badly damaged almond trees and decreased the harvest of almond.
He also cited lack of farmers’ interest as one of the reasons behind the decrease in almond yield, saying many gardeners had turned to cultivating asafetida.
Based on Karimi’s information, almond orchards are spread over 5,124,000 hectares of land in Samangan province and a total of 1,900 tons of almonds were obtained from these orchards this year while last year’s yield reached 4,600 tons.
At the same time, gardeners and traders in Samangan complain about the lack of almond market in the province.
Zabihullah, an almond trader, said every year he used to transfer Samangan almonds to other provinces because they had a good market, but this year compared to the previous year, despite insufficient production of almonds in the province, the dried fruit had no good market.
He recalled last year, seven kilograms of almonds were sold for 2,200 afghanis and this year the same amount sold for 1,400 to 1,500 afghanis.
Naqibullah, one of the gardeners in Samangan, also said that last year he harvested 2,100 kilograms of almonds from his orchard, but this year the yield declined to only 20kg due to extreme cold weather last winter and the freezing of trees.
Haji Mohammad Sadiq, a gardener in Hazrat Sultan district, was also not satisfied with his almond harvest this year.
He said last year his garden produced satisfactory yield, but this year he got nothing.
The decrease in almond yield and the lack of a suitable market for its sale have discouraged gardeners who are worried about the future of the famous product of the province.
The gardeners want the government to find a suitable market for the almond yield.