The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

Promotion of Aloe Vera, a good alternative for poppy cultivation, economists

By: Shukria Kohistani

A number of economists in briefing with The Kabul Times said that if the ministry of agriculture encourage farmers in promotion of useful herbs the poppy cultivation will reach to zero in some provinces.
These economists add that as Afghanistan was criticizing by the world for poppy cultivation, the ministry of agriculture held some agricultural programs for eradication of poppy cultivation and did to search good alternatives that saffron especially Aloe Vera recently found good position in some parts of Afghanistan.
Economic expert, Ustad Saifuddin Saihoon in the connection said that promotion of aloe-vera in some provinces did to reach poppy cultivation to zero and this is a good news for the people of Afghanistan.
According to him, if the ministry of agriculture to encourage farmers in plantation of useful herbs agriculture will get improved.
Ustad Saihoon added that factory of processing of aloe-vera that recently functioned in Herat is a good example in having interest by peasants for improvement of agricultural situation in the country and with holding of new agricultural programs, the farmers can offer suitable productions to the market and through this can earn good income.
Saffron and fresh new bush of aloe vera as well as development of traditional agricultural items in the country are the roadmaps reduce poppy cultivation in the country, Ustad Saihoon stated.
The fresh factory launched in industrial township of Herat funded with over $ 2 million for using in production of beverages produce energy now, daily is processing ten tons of aloe-vera leaves.
The aloe-vera leaves are purchasing from peasants and transfer to this factory for processing.
The ministry of agriculture says that now, aloe vera is planted in five provinces of the country and it is planned within current year, plantation of this herb to be promoted in eleven other provinces as well.
Minister of agriculture, Nasir Ahmad Durani in this respect said that the leaves of aloe vera are used in washing items and other medical liquids and now this herb is also using in production of beverages.
The in-charges of agriculture and irrigation directorate of Herat also say that the leaves of aloe vera are also using for medicine and medical equipments and is enjoying from good market.
This is for the first time that the aloe vera cultivation has begun in Herat province.
The in-charges in agriculture and irrigation directorate of Herat say that because of much benefits, within recent two years, great number of farmers resorted to plantation of this herb.
Based on information of ministry of agriculture and irrigation, the programs of cultivation of aloe vera are good alternative for eradication of poppy cultivation in the country.
So, this ministry promoted cultivation of this herb in some provinces.
Since few years to date, the government of Afghanistan especially the ministry of agriculture introduced the alternatives for cultivation of poppy such as saffron, orange flower and rose perfumes as well as improved seeds.
Despite of this, the ministry of agriculture promoted green houses and made decision to promote aloe-vera that is enjoying from good income and resistance before drought.
This herb also uses for medical purposes as well.
Now, despite Herat, this herb borne good result in Badghis, Farah and Nangarhar provinces and is offering daily in market inside of the city.

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.