QALA-I-NAW (PAN): Though economy of residents of western Badghis province depends on agriculture and livestock, locals complain of absence of market to promote their agro products.
Locals said growing insecurity had negatively hit their economy.
Hafizullah Banish, director agriculture, irrigation and livestock department said economy of the residents depended on agriculture and livestock.
Talking to Pajhwok Afghan News, he said residents had large number of domestic animals as compared to the past, but their low prices negatively hit their owners.
Monsoon rains had resulted in increasing of agro products in the province, according to Banish, who called insecurity and armed groups presence was the main hurdles hindering economy of the locals.
 Wheat harvests yielded 96 metric tons of the current year, while wheat crop last year stood at 38,000 tons, he said, linking the move with monsoon rains and standardizing of agro forms.
The agriculture and livestock department officials said they were assisting the locals in various spheres, promising similar cooperation in future.
 Banish put the number of rain-fed land in the province at 80 percent as compared to irrigated lands, where orchards of fresh fruits such as melon, water melon, grapes, pistachio and almond also yielded record products.
Citing fruit orchards that helped boosted local’s economy, he said residents were able to get adequate vegetable crops.
An estimate indicates that the province has a total of 821, 000 sheep, 540, 000 goats, 12,243 camels and 100,000 cows where the horse species are at the verge of extinction, Banish added.
He said livestock owners were suffering economic problems as result of no market to their cattle amid low prices. The province has a total of 2,431 horses while in the past each family had a horse, he added.
The locals expressed satisfaction over their agro products and livestock but complained that the government was unable to resolve their pressing problems without further delay.
Mohammad Ibrahim, a resident of Balamarghab district said he had his own orchards of apricots and grapes but the agriculture, livestock and irrigation department could not extend the direly needed cooperation, which would go a long way to multiply his products.
The farmer said: “The growers in Badghis province have good harvests this year because of their hard work, however, the authorities concerned neither give chemical fertilizer nor refined seeds.”
He has more than 4,000 saplings orchards, with the agro department brought saplings from other provinces instead to purchase the samplings from him in the spring season.
He said pistachio orchards were the main sources of revenues for the locals, with most of the gardens were being located in Abkamari, Maqur and Balamarghab districts.
According to officials’ estimate, as many as 90,000 hectors of lands were covered by pistachio in Badghis.
Shakib, director of the provincial council, said there were 29, 000 hectors of orchards of pistachio in the province and the remaining were destroyed or cut by warlords.
He said rebels had set up check posts within the pistachio jungles, collecting their share or tax.
However, Governor Mirwais Mirzakwal confirmed 70 % jungles of pistachio in the province were destroyed, adding they had launched measures to rehabilitate the orchards. He said pistachio products’ generate around $ 140 million revenue for the country each year.
Over past few years, they planted pistachio saplings over 2,000 hectors of land, Banish said.
Haji Ismail, a resident of the province complained of low prices of wheat in the province.  “This year, my wheat orchards yielded 11,200 kilogram wheat but I could not get in return what I spent in terms of money,” he added.
He said seven kilograms of wheat were being sold at the rate of 60 afghanis in the province, while similar amount of wheat were being sold at the price of 100 afs in other provinces.