Medicinal plants; Fresh breath for economy of the country
Peasant weekly : Naim Rezai
Based on the figures of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock(MAIL) in 1399, Afghanistan exported medical plants worth a total of 145 million 302 thousand and 179 US dollars. Regiment, valued at 99,963,000, $ tops the list of medicinal plants exports. According to the same statistics, the total export of the country in 1399 was worth 733 million 647 thousand 343 million AFN, a large part of which is the export of medicinal plants.
Mohammad Rafi Qazizada, MAIL natural resources director said, "More than 20 types of medicinal plants in the country go wild, the most important of which are liquorice, cumin and regiment. Afghanistan has a suitable weather for these plants, medicinal plants forms about a quarter of the country's total exports."
He says that since 2009, Natural Resources Directorate of the Ministry of Agriculture has identified more than 7,000 hectares of medicinal plants and rehabilitated them by planting cuttings and spraying, and has identified and quarantined about 7,000 hectares, saying that this year we plan to rehabilitate 4,800 to 5,000 hectares, with a total of 12,500 hectares to be rehabilitated from 1998 to the end of this year.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock has not only worked in the field of rehabilitation of areas related to medicinal plants, yet has also distributed about 7,500 work packages for those interested in cultivating these plants last year. It has also distributed about seven thousand and five hundred work packages to collect quality products of medicinal plants.
Directorate of Natural Resources related to MAIL created 72 associations of medicinal plants last year in order to increase farmers' passion in this product.
MR. Qazizada added, "These associations are not only working with us in rehabilitation sector, we are trying to turn them into police unions at the district and provincial level, and in production, processing and value-added sectors. The private sector should be a good partner and they should be able to sell a quality product at a reasonable price and the role of the peasant should be more appropriate in-order to earn a good income from their medical products. We plan to form 25 more associations this year. In total, more than 97 associations will work in the field of medicinal plants by the end of this year.
He says, “If a farmer cultivates one hectare of land, he can raise up to 36,000 $of its huge gross income, and the farmer can earn a good income.
This year, MAIL has added the revitalization of medicinal plants to the drainage regulation section with the project, and this year more than 8,400 cubic meters of water will be built, 71 reserves will be built for water absorption basins, along with high job opportunities. It wins and about three thousand people benefit from it.