Employees from Kabul’s Badam Bagh farm said Monday that they are trying to promote pistachio farming in the country in order to expand the sector.
According to them, eight years ago the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock planted pistachio saplings in Badam Bagh and this year they were able to harvest the nuts.
The Badam Bagh farm manager, Abdul Sabor Fahim, said they planted three types of pistachio trees on the farm and have had good results. He said they also experimented with Iranian pistachio trees but that the local variety yielded a better harvest.
Fahim said for the past eight years, farm employees have been researching pistachio nut farming.
“We started research on a few types of pistachio saplings many years ago and this year we established a new pistachio garden. We established another garden many years ago and it produced pistachios this year,” said Fahim.
In Afghanistan, pistachios grow in mountains in the west, north and north-east of the country and do not need irrigation.
Gardening experts however say if pistachio trees are planted on flat land and irrigated regularly, trees will yield far more nuts. As such, the agriculture ministry is now hoping to promote the sector.
“In this garden four types of pistachio trees have been tested. Three of them are domestic pistachio trees brought from Badghis, Herat and Samangan provinces and the results are very good,” Asghar Ali Shirzad, a pistachio tree expert from Badam Bagh said.
The agriculture, irrigation and livestock ministry’s findings show that pistachio nuts are a valuable commodity on the global market. As part of its efforts to grow the sector, the ministry also intends to establish standardized processing and packing facilities for the nuts.