Farmers complain lack of cold stores

TAOQAN (Pajhwok): On the eve of apple, potatoes and other agriculture products harvest, farmers in northern Takhar province have asked government to construct cold stores in the province. They said due to the non-availability of up to the standard cold stores, deteriorated market condition and non-availability of medicines for crop they are forced to sale their products at low rate and by doing this they could not earn profit and even could not compensate the amount they spent. Haji Abdul Qayyoum, the resident of Warsaj district, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “Apple yield is satisfactory this year, but there is no cold store for to store our products, we have to sale our products at low rate and by doing this we earn no profit, we have apple orchard on one and half acre of land and it may produce over four tonnes of apple.” He said due to the lack of cold stores seven kilograms of apples are sold from 100 to 150 afs while after some months the same quantities of apples are sold against 500 afs. Fakhruddin, one of the farmers in Warsaj, said it was time for apple and potatoes harvest but farmers are facing problems and there is no place and facility to protect our yield. “The transfer of apple to the centre are also not easy, most of the products get rotten on its way, we sell seven kilograms of potatoes against 100 afs and the same quantity of apple against 70 afs now due to the lack of cold stores, when it is needed we pay two times higher.” He demanded the government to address these problems. Sadruddin, another farmer who cultivated nearly eight and a half tonnes potatoes, said he was unable to get satisfactory yield due to the lack of attention by the agriculture department in term of medicines distribution for crops. He said: “I have no place to protect my yield, the Agriculture Department did not distributed medicines timely to protect our crops from natural disasters, our transportation routes are not good and we have sell our product at low price.” Abdul Ala Radmar, deputy agriculture director, said apple products surged from 30 to 40 percent comparing to last year while the potatoes yield is satisfactory in the Warsaj and Farkar districts despite the fact that weather was very cold during winter. He said in the past at least 300 cold stores had been constructed in the provincial capital and district where farmers could store their products.