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Faryab gardeners concerned at low raisins yield, price

14 Nov 2023 - 23:42
14 Nov 2023 - 23:42

MAIMANA (Pajhwok):  Gardeners in the Qaisar district of northwestern Faryab province have complained against the declining yield and rate of raisins.

But local businessmen said due to the depreciation of US dollar against Afghani the price of raisins also declined.

According to last year’s Pajhwok Afghan News report, gardeners had expressed delight over increased in their raisins yield and said that 350 tonnes of raisins loaded in trucks from Qaisar district to other provinces and outside the country in one week.

Sufi Naseer Ahmad, one of the gardeners of Qaisar district, said sever cold during last winter and continued drought had affected more than 50 percent of their orchards and on the other hand businessmen have reduced the rates by 50 percent.

He said last year seven kilograms of black raisins were accounted for 1,200 afs while this year the same quantity of raisin accounted for 800 afs.

He said: “Qaisar gardeners are worried about the declining yield and price of raisins.”

Naseer Ahmad said: “Gardeners in Qaisar are suffering from lack of water, digging a deep well costs five to ten lakh Afghanis, unless they sell their garden, and at the same time, the water from the well is not enough, and it has not given good results in agriculture and horticulture.”

Haji Abdul Manan, another gardeners in Qaisar said last year he harvested 2.8 tonnes of raisins from his garden and this year he harvested less than 1.6 tonne of raisins and did not match the value of hard work and difficulties he beard the entire year.

He stated that the reason for the decrease in the volume of raisins yield was the harsh winter and drought. He said that because of the hot weather, the grapes did not grow and what was left from the cold and drought fell prey to a type of insect and worms.

He said currently, seven kilograms bag of black raisins accounted for up to 1,000 afs in the Qaisar markets.

Haji Mohammad Naeem, another businessman said, raisins yield in Qaisar dropped by 30 percent but the rate difference caused by currency appreciation had no major impact on the price and it was in the interest of gardeners.

He said last year gardeners sold seven kilograms of raisins against 1,200 afs and one bottle of cooking oil was accounted for 900 afs but this year the same quantity of raisins are sold at around 1,000 afs and one bottle of cooking oil is accounted for 500 afs.

He praised the security in the country, the economic policy of the government and the increase in the value of the Afghani currency against foreign currencies.

Sayed Anwar, a senior person in the market, said last year one US dollar was accounted for 90 afs while seven kilograms of raisins was sold against 1,200 afs

But this year one US dollar is accounted against 70 afs and seven kilograms of raisins are sold against 1,000 afs and this something to be cherished about.

He acknowledged that gardeners’ crops have decreased by 30% due to the cold winter, drought and lack of sufficient water; but if necessary measures are not taken in the water sector, the gardens will suffer more losses, the economy of Qaisar people will face stagnation since it relied on raisins production.

Qaisar District Chief Da Mullah Saadat Qaisari also acknowledged gardeners complaints and said raisins price and yield declined 50 percent this year comparing to the last year.

He said Qaisar has a large population and it is grad one districts of Faryab, whose residents are mostly gardeners, farmers, and agriculturalists.

They had been affected by successive droughts, and on the other hand, a large number of emigrants expelled from Iran and Pakistan are returned to Qaisar and residing in different areas every day.

He asked the provincial and central government to address the drinking and irrigation water issue of the province and construction Abgardan Band of the district.

Mawlavi Noorul Huda Motawakel, deputy head of the Agriculture Department, acknowledged the gardeners complaints and said two major challenges of last winter’s unprecedented coldness and drought have caused a 50% decrease in Qaisar’s garden and raisin yields, but the price of raisins is in favor of the gardener due to the increase in the value of the Afghani currency against the dollar.

He said the survey of 17 dams in Qaisar district had been completed and work on these dams would start soon which will address the water shortage issue to some extents.

He reaffirmed that according to the promise made by the Acting Minister of Energy and Water, who visited Faryab recently, the construction work of two large Abgardan dams in Almar and Dhandara Pashtunkot will also be resumed


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