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Badghis pistachio production plummets 50%

in Afghan Business

Badghis pistachio production plummets 50%

Pistachio12-300x241Pistachio yield in Badghis, Afghanistan’s leading province for pistachio cultivation, has declined by 50%, officials have reported.

Covering about 30,000 hectares of land, pistachio forests in the province are faced with various threats that have adversely affected their cultivation.

In addition to natural disasters such as floods, insecurity has been another factor that has led to the drop in pistachio yield in the province.

Head of the Badghis Agriculture and Livestock Department Hafizullah Binish said insurgents hide out in the pistachio forests and cause damage to the crops. Furthermore, Illegal Armed Groups prevent access for many farmers and are reportedly said to pick pistachios off of private properties and sell them illegally.

According to Baghlan agriculture officials, 38,000 hectares of woodlands including 20,000 hectares of pistachio woodlands were present in Baghlan three decades ago; however, only 7,000 hectares of pistachio forests have remained today. The majority of the forests were lost to the decades of war and usurpers.

Pistachio woodlands are currently situated in central Baghlan district, Dahnai Ghori, Doshi and Nahrin.

Pistachio woodlands are also available in Samangan, Kunduz and Badghis provinces of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is in the center of origin for Pistacia vera, a species of pistachio. Pistacia vera holds valuable genes for cold hardiness and drought tolerance. Afghan pistachios are recognized for color and intense flavor.

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