By: Shukria Kohistani
KABUL: Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock has said that pine nuts harvests have exceeded beyond 23 ton this year, thus it is planned to plant more pine nuts trees in the country’s arable lands.
The ministry has also said it has planted nearly 6.6 million trees as well as 3.5 million pistachio saplings this year, helping farmers harvest eye-catching products this year.
Pine nuts forests have covered up to 44 hectares of lands in nine provinces of the country, said the ministry adding both pine nuts and pistachio trees are available in 11 provinces including Herat with 3571 hectares of pistachio lands.
According to the ministry’s officials, last year more than 25,000 tons of pistachio nuts have been harvested from these forests.
The ministry is also planned to create pistachio forests on more than 30,000 hectares of land in the near future in Herat province and want to create 10 hectares of pistachio forests in other provinces.
Meanwhile, General Directorate for the Presidential Affairs Administration has also recently held ‘The National Conference of Afghanistan for the Expansion of Pine nut and Pistachio Products and Exports to the World Markets’.
During the conference the participants spoke about creation of pine nuts forests, creation of new forests, collecting and standard packaging of the two products and their exports to the world markets with the results to be shared with the Presidential Office.
The participants also asked for creation of factories for standard procession and packaging of the two precious products and offering them to the global markets.
Up to 16 world countries are now demanding for purchasing pistachio, pine nuts and saffron from Afghanistan.
The country’s ministry of industry and commerce is planned to rise the graph of Afghanistan exports and the total level of domestic exports is expected to reach to nearly $1 billion by the end of this year, according to the Afghanistan chamber of commerce and investment.
President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan Mohammad Ashraf Ghani has also said pine nuts and pistachio should be seen as the country’s national capital that serious attention should be made on the exports, packaging and export standards.