NEILI (Pajhwok): Farmers in central Daikundi province complain about lack of cold storages to preserve their products, which they say get rotten before being sold.
They say potatoes are planted and harvested in all areas of Daikundi, but there is no suitable market for selling them and also there is no place to store them.
Mohammad Akbar, a farmer, said he used to grow potatoes every year, but the harvest could not be preserved and they decayed in midwinter.
“We mostly cultivate potato. This year we harvested 3,500 kilograms of garlic, but only 700 kilograms of it were sold and the rest left unsold.”
“We find no buyers after harvesting potatoes at the beginning of the year, it prices go up only at the end of the year.”
He also emphasized if standard cold storage facilities were established, farmers could preserve their harvests and present them to the market at appropriate time.
He urged the government to build standard cold storages for their products.
On the other hand, Matiullah, another farmer, said this year potatoes were sold at a very low price compared to previous years.
He added that a large number of farmers had started storing potatoes by digging the ground in a non-standard way to avoid much loss.
He said in this method some potatoes got rotten until spring and others lost weight.
He urged the government to pave the ground for exporting potatoes so that farmers could meet their living expenses as people’s income depended on agriculture.
However, officials in the Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock of Daikundi province say that they are working hard to improve the condition of farmers and have plans at hand in this regard.
Mohammad Joya, director of statistics and information at the Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, says that this department has established many cold storage facilities in different districts.
He added that this year alone four potato cold storage facilities were established in Shahristan, Miramor and Kiti districts.
He said these cold storages had been built for storing potato at a cost of more than 1,465,000 afghanis.
He added his department was trying to establish more cold storages next year.