Fruits cultivated by the Perennial Horticulture Development Centers (PHDCs) met with an enthusiastic response from H.E Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, the Chief Executive of Afghanistan, at a recent agricultural fair in Kabul.
Dr. Abdullah remarked: “This is the first time that I have seen a seedless pomegranate and a big pear like this in Afghanistan. I never thought such fruits could be produced in the country, but now I can see that the Perennial Horticulture Development Centers are doing it.”
The Centers, which are supported by the EU-funded Transition Project in support of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL), managed by Landell Mills, were amongst 200 organisations to take part in the event, which attracted more than one hundred thousand people. The Centers took the opportunity to display a collection of national fruit that they have cultivated, including varieties of pomegranate, citrus, apple, persimmon, grapes and dates.
The overall aim of the Centers is to enable the Afghan horticultural industry to respond profitably to market demand through activities such as:
- cultivating a national collection of fruit and nut varieties
- introducing varieties to domestic demonstration orchards
- developing pollination trails and breeding programmes
- undertaking evaluation, characterisation and data collection
The Centers’ most ambitious target is to provide Afghanistan with a national germ-plasm collection to preserve over 950 accessions for all major types of perennial fruit trees and vines.
The €14 million EU-MAIL Transition Project aims to facilitate the sustainable transition of the Perennial Horticulture Development Centers and similar projects into the government structure of the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock. Find out more here.