Herat farmers demand cold storages, market for produce

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Farmers in western Herat province complain about the lack of cold storages and say most of their products are sold at lower price or spoiled every year.
Abdul Hakim, a farmer from Anjil district, who brought his grapes to the local market, told Pajhwok Afghan News he sold the fruit at low price before itspoiled.
The government must build cold storages otherwise farmers would continue to face losses, Hakim said.
Pir Mohammad Halimi, head of the agriculture and livestock department, told Pajhwok Afghan News that 80 percent of the land in Herat was used for agricultureand acknowledged many farmers faced countless problems.
He assured they had plans for the development of agricultural sector and to resolve farmers’ problems.
Acting Minister of Agriculture and Livestock MawlaviAtaullahOmari also assured farmers during his trip to Herat province that the ministry will talk about irrigation, cold storages and air corridors problems with relevant organs.
Some experts think standard cold storages are fundamental need of agricultural sector.
Asmatullah Lodin, one of the experts, said Herat as an important agricultural zone still lacked a standard and huge cold storage.
He urged the government to build cold storagesbecause officials of the former government had failed to honor their promises in this regard.
Farmers of Herat province, where 4,000 acres oforchards of grapes exist, sell or export their products domestically or to international markets traditionally.