Strawberry farms in eastern Nangarhar province have produced much more than in previous years, said the provincial agriculture and irrigation department.
Officials in Nangarhar’s Agriculture and Irrigation Department expect that the province will grow about 150 metric tons of the berries by the end of the solar year.
A farmer in the Khogyani district, AbdulRahman, said: “I have been busy with this work for 15-16 years. Day by day our crops are increasing, cultivation of the fruit is expanding. We cultivate this fruit as an alternative to cannabis and poppy.”
Meanwhile, farmers in Nangarhar province demand the government provide them with better and more effective methods of cultivation, yielding, and packing of strawberries, to increase their profits.
“There is a high demand for the fruit in the markets, farmers continue to cultivate it, and it produces considerable profits,” said Omran Gul, a farmer in the Khogyani district.
Farmers in the Khogyani district call the government to provide them with the equipment necessary to process the strawberries in a standard way.
Shokrullah, an agriculture expert in Nangarhar province, said: “Strawberries have a big market in Afghanistan, especially in Kabul. They are also a great alternative for the cultivation of narcotics. It produces Hallal (permissible according to Islam) profits and creates jobs for villagers.”
Officials in Nangarhar’s agriculture and irrigation department said they are striving to change methods for strawberry farming from traditional to commercial.
“We expect to grow strawberry farms in over 400 hectares of the land across the province because the province's weather condition is suitable for the cultivation of strawberries, and strawberries are in high demand at the markets,” said Anamullah Sapai, Head of Nangarhar Agriculture and Irrigation Department.
Khogyani, Spinghar, Achin, and Surkhrod, are the districts with the most strawberry farming in the province, according to information provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock.