An unprecedented decrease in watermelon prices has inflicted heavy financial losses to farmers in western Farah province.
According to farmers, one kilogram of watermelon is sold for one Afghanis while it should be sold for at least Afs10.
Allauddin, a farmer in Farah, said the prices of apples has also droped to Afs3 per kilogram.
“We suffered losses and there is no cold storage facility in Farah,” said Abdul Wasi, a farmer.
“We are not able receive our normal expenses by selling our products,” said Ghulam Farooq, a farmer.
Farah farmers have been provided a number of facilities to improve their products, said Akbar Rustami, spokesman for Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock.
“This year, more than 791,000 tons of watermelon was produced in Farah province which shows 17 percent increase compared with last year,” said Rustami.
He said that lack of transportation facility for Farah’s watermelon is key reason for the decrease in prices. “The ministry of agriculture is working to overcome the problem,” he added.
Experts said the farmers require cold storage facilities and a good market for their products.
“Seasonal fruits require to be sent to the market at a specified time. Unfortunately, government has not made any initiatives in this regard,” said Mohammad Yaqub Mashoq, an economic expert.
Farah farmers said that most of them have sent their products to Herat markets.