The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) on Monday said that under the alternate poppy cultivation project, it will establish 75 greenhouses in three provinces to promote cultivation of aloe vera.
The Agriculture Minister Nasir Ahmad Durrani made the remarks at a gathering in Nangarhar province where he signed contracts for establishment of 75 greenhouses with community development councils, known as CDCs.
Durrani said the greenhouses will be built in Nangarhar, Badghis and Farah provinces and that farmers, in addition to vegetables, will cultivate aloe vera in these greenhouses which he said is an expensive plant.
He said aloe vera will be cultivated in the greenhouses as a pilot project and that a big number of farmers will cultivate aloe vera as an alternative to poppy in the near future.
Aloe vera is a plant which is used for industrial and medical purposes and also is being used in composition of energy drinks which has made it a valuable plant.
“Aloe vera is an industrial, medical and commercial plant which needs less water and once it is cultivated, it will give products for up to four years,” said Durrani.
The minister said they are going to develop Nangarhar Canal Project and it will be changed into a state-owned corporation.
“We have started initial work on Nangarhar Canal Project for its development. Also, we have bought a big machinery from Italy for the project’s factory which will arrive soon,” Durrani added.
Nangarhar governor meanwhile said by development of the canal project, thousands of people will get jobs and the production will increase.
“By development of the canal, work opportunities will be provided for thousands of people and revenues will increase,” Nangarhar governor Hayatullah Hayat said.
Hayat said the central government should draft an outline for development of Nangarhar Canal Project to increase agricultural production.