NEILI: Local officials and gardeners in central Daikundi province report a 20 percent increase almond production this year, but complain about the dried fruit’s dropping price in the market. Sayed Abdul Wahid Ferozi, provincial agriculture, irrigation and livestock director, told Pajhwok Afghan News that almond production reached 24,000 metric tons in Daikundi this year compared to last year’s 16,0000 metric tons, showing a 20 percent increase.
However, the almond price had significantly dropped in domestic markets. Each seven kilograms of almond was sold against 1,000 afghanis last year but the current price was 700 afghanis. He said the almond market had been bullish in Daikundi last year when people made good earning from the business.
Ali Danish, a farmer, told Pajhwok Afghan News that fortunately almond production increased this year but its price decreased, an issue he said was causing losses to farmers. Khuda Dad, a local almond trader, said they purchased each seven kilograms of Yangaki almond for 1,000 afghanis last year against 600 afghanis this year.
On the other hand, farmers and gardeners say is no processing factory in the province despite the fact that people of Daikundi are associated with almond farming and business. Ali, a resident of Daikundi capital and a gardener, said: “The government has done nothing so far in the area of fruits processing.”
The agriculture, irrigation and livestock director confirmed these problems and said efforts were underway to open almond processing factories in all districts of Daikundi. Local officials say despite lack of attention, the provincial agriculture, irrigation and livestock department and local farmers celebrate the almond flower festival every year. Daikundi has a proper climate for growing almond. The almond produced in this province has national and international reputation.