Herat farmers seek help as they face lack of facilities

Farmers in Herat say their products suffer from a lack of storage facilities, access to international markets, and a lack of domestic markets.

Previously, Afghanistan’s fruits were sent abroad via a subsidized process known as the air corridor, but that process has since ceased, significantly impacting exports.

Herat is well-known for the variety of fruits and agricultural products it exports to other provinces and abroad, including dozens of grape varieties.

“We farm wheat, saffron, onions, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots, and other agricultural products,” said Abdul Wahab, a farmer. “During its season, we sell potatoes for 10 Afs per kilogram, while if we have storage facilities, we can sell them for 30 Afs per kilogram later.”

For years, farmers have struggled with a lack of a market due to a lack of attention from the ministry of agriculture and other institutions in this sector.

Farmers said they will lose interest in their business if the situation continues, suggesting that facilitating the export of agricultural products will help them regain momentum.

The agriculture directorate in Herat said efforts are underway to provide facilities to farmers, including storage facilities.

“We have spoken with farmers and have listened to their problems, and the agriculture directorate will pay special attention to overcoming these issues,” said Pir Mohammad Halimi, head of the Taliban for the agriculture directorate in Herat.

Meanwhile, during a visit to Herat this week, Taliban agriculture minister Ataullah Omari vowed to address issues confronting farmers in the province.