The farmers say they are starting to earn a fairly good income from orange blossoms and roses – from which they extract the essence for the perfume industry.
Currently there are an estimated 1,500 such farmers in the Sorkhrod, Achin, Kot and Dar-e-Noor districts who have changed over to flower farming.
The farmers sell their flower to a local distillery which in turn extracts the essence.
According to distillery employees, there has been a marked increase in cultivation of orange trees and rose bushes in the province, which has had a positive impact on their businesses.
One farmer, Musa Khan, said he has planted more rose bushes this year, compared to last season, as he hopes to increase his income.
“We nurture the flowers and from one side it increases our income and from the other side it creates jobs for people working in the perfume factories,” Khan said.
“The cultivation of orange flowers and roses is very good,” said Haris Khan another gardener.
After harvest these flowers are taken to the distillery for further processing. The distillery then sells the essence.
Currently there is only one distillery. Employees say they are doing well and fetch good prices on international markets.
“Both farmers and factory owners must be supported as this brings profit for the farmers and if enough work is done in this sector and more factories start production here it will create job opportunities for hundreds (of people),” said Abdullah Arsala, the distillery’s marketing manager.
Distillery workers have also called on government to support and develop the industry.