The production of pomegranate is going to increase in the poppy growing Helmand province, the official media outlet Bakhtar News Agency (BNA) reported Thursday.
The production of pomegranate in Helmand, would increase from 20,000 tons in 2018 to 24,465 tons in the current year, BNA reported quoting local officials.
"Farmers in Helmand province would collect 24,465 tons of pomegranate this year which indicates considerable increase of the fruit in the province compared to products harvested last year," BNA added quoted Zalmay Alko, the head of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock department in the restive province as saying.
Pomegranate gardens, currently covering 1,165 acres of land in the southern Helmand province, Alko said, adding the government has planned to increase pomegranate gardens in future to facilitate the farmers and horticulturalists to grow the valuable fruit in the province.
The government has planned to allocate about 500 acres of lands for growing pomegranate gardens in Helmand province in the current year, Alko added, according to BNA.
The southern Helmand province, which is notorious for growing poppy and insurgency, according to Alko, would change its face if the farmers encouraged to replace poppy cultivation with legal crops and find markets for their products.