Bamyan, the largest potato producing province in Afghanistan, produced 350,000 tons of the carbohydrate rich vegetable this year, showing an increase over last year’s yield.
Abdul Wahab Mohammadi, head of the Agriculture and Livestock department, told Pajhwok Afghan News during an exclusive chat that around 60,000 farmers were associated with potato crop in the province.
Mohammadi added that 50,000 tons more potatoes were produced this year, - an increase of 15% - compared to the previous year amid soaring prices.
Last year, the price of seven kilograms of potatoes hovered between 80 to 120 afghanis (USD 1.15-1.75 per 7 kilogram = USD 0.16 - 0.25 per kg) while this year the price of the same amount of potatoes was accounted for 100 to 160 afghanis (USD 0.21 - 0.33 /kg).
Haji Mohammad Ali, one of the farmers, said a small number of farmers benefited from storages constructed by NGOs. He asked the agriculture ministry to establish more storages under the farmer support scheme.
Another impression of potato cultivation in Afghanistan's Bamyan province
“Famers direly need more storages because the facility helps and encourages them a lot.”Mohammad Salman, a resident of Shaibar district, who has been provided with a storage house facility by the agriculture ministry, said he was able to store 25 tons of potatoes and take them out in spring to the market.
“They don’t have the capacity to store potatoes by themselves.”