The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Fish farms’ number surpasses 3,000 in Helmand

Helmand is one of Af ghanistan’s prov inces where most of its residents were engaged in drug cultivation in the past decades. In recent years, people in Helmand province have turned to fish breeding and get halal sustenance for their families from fish breeding. Provincial director of the Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Department of Helmand province Shah Mohammad Khan, says that in recent years, they have started building fish breeding farms (pisciculture) and now many people restored to building farms. According to him, currently, the number of fish breeding farms in Marja, Nawzad, Kajaki, Nad Ali, Nawa and Nahar-eSiraj Districts, including Lashkargah city reaches 3,000 farms. He says that with the construction of piscicultures, dozens of people have been provided with jobs. Shah Mohammad Khan said: “We have 1,200 farms registered and 1,800 more farms have already been established so that the total number of farms reaches 3,000 and can meet the needs of the people of Helmand.” At the same time, the owners of piscicultures in Helmand are also happy with the activity of their farms and say that fish farms have become a good economic source for the people. Aminullah, who owns pisciculture, says that if a fingerlings (small fish) farm is established in Afghanistan, there is hope that the number of fish breeding farms could increase by 50%. He says that currently we must bring fingerlings from foreign countries to build a new farm, which costs more and sometimes they lose their lives during transportation. He said: “This year, we have built this pisciculture. Around 30 people are working in pisciculture, and it has cost 1.8 million Afghanis. We are raising 10,000 fingerlings. If the government activates the production of fingerlings instead of transferring from foreign countries to Afghanistan, the number of piscicultures will reach 6,000.” A number of other pisciculture owners in Helmand province are asking the government to find a market for their products. They say that although the number of farms are high in the province, the prices of fish meat are low and they cannot obtain much profit. Another farm breeding owner, Ahmadullah called on the government in addition to providing a market for Helm a n d ’ s fish, should also exp o r t f i s h meat to f o r e i g n countries. Meanwhile, the provincial Director of the Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Department Shah Mohammad Khan said that if the country’s needs were met in fish meats, the government would try to export fish meat to the international markets. “We have built a pisciculture of fingerlings on 5 acres of land, in order to prevent the import of fingerlings from foreign countries,” he said. Currently, the price of 4.5 kilograms of fish meat in Helmand province is 800 Afghanis. The province in 1401 (2022), produced 50 tons of fish meat, it increased to 70 tons in 1402 (2023) and it is hoped that it will double this year Inshallah. Ehasnullah Walasmal

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.