KABUL: Char Asyab farmers said they harvest on average 100,000 tons of onions a year but of this at least 40 percent rots before being sold.
Over 100 cold storage units have been established in five districts of Kabul for onions, officials from the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) said on Wednesday.
According to Assadullah Zamir, minister of agriculture, irrigation and livestock, 121 units have been built in Kabul province, which will boost the sector and ensure a decrease in spoiled onions.
“Establishing the cold rooms was part of our plan for this year that has now been implemented in Kabul’s districts. We are trying to establish more cold rooms in the same districts for next year,” said Zamir.
Out of the 121 cold rooms, 116 of them are small cold storage units that can hold up to 15 tons of onions, five others are medium-sized units that can take 60 tons of onions.
A number of the units have been built in Char Asyab district, where residents called on government to build more such units. They also said the agriculture ministry should distribute modified seeds during cultivation season.
“There are lots of problems. We face a shortage of water and modified seeds are not distributed during cultivation season; we hope that these problems also get resolved,” Sakhi Ahmad, a member of Char Asyab district development council said.
“Government should build us big cold rooms that can address all our problems,” Char Asyab resident Gulab Khan said.
Farmers in the district focus on onions and can harvest up to 100,000 tons a year. These farmers however said that until now, up to 40 percent of their produce rots before being sold as they have had limited market opportunities and no cold storage facilities.