Kandahar province is worldwide recognized for its quality pomegranate production especially the Kandahari varieties that are famous and has more interest among national and international consumers. Of the total land under pomegranate cultivation in the country, Kandahar’s share is about 60% with 76% of the total national production. But due to poor orchard management practices, careless production, widespread of pest and diseases, lack of quality inputs and lack of technical and financial support to the farmers both quality and quantity of pomegranate is badly affected and is gradually decreasing. In addition to that, country is also lacking of fruit processing/value addition facilities and proper market linkages in order to support both the producers and consumers. It is estimated that currently farmers get 7 MT yield per hectare. The losses in pomegranates occur due to poor orchard management which gives raise to pests and diseases and low quality yield.
Afghanistan can be considered the country of the pomegranate fruit because of the excellent quality of the cultivars that thrive there. The country has the required climatic conditions and has accumulated a traditional knowledge base related to the production of this fruit. Large quantities of production of this fruit unaccounted for in international statistics to rank the country among the main producers in the world. Global production estimates show that production in Afghanistan is considerable accounting for 8-10% of global production. This means that the country has the potential to be a player in the international market if the product was to be exported. Due to the lack of data, the country production potential is not accounted for.
Afghanistan is a land for 48 leading world cultivars/verities of pomegranate commonly growing in 24 provinces of the country (Figure 3). Out of 48 cultivars, 20 are sweet, 17 are mild-sweet and 11 are sour based on their taste.The production is mainly concentrated in the south-western, but also northern and eastern regions. Among the pomegranate producing provinces, Kandahar, Kapisa, Helmand, Farah, and Balkh Provinces are famous for its commercial production (Figure 4).Pomegranate ranks 5th after grapes, almond, apricot and apple. According to CSO, the total area under pomegranate cultivation in the country is about 8,450 ha with total production of 63,292MT and an average yield of 7MT/ha
CARD-F intervention in pomegranate value chain includes farm support to 300 pomegranate growers in three potential districts (Argandab, Dand and Daman) of Kandahar province. The farm support includes a package of farm inputs fertilizers, micronutrient, pruning scissors and saws, harvesting tools, and pesticides with sprayers), capacity building intensive trainings and extension services. The component also includes establishment of pomegranate and grapes processing plant which include warehouse, aggregation centre and processing facilities. The project also establishes pomegranate producers associations to support and provide extension and marketing services and ensure sustainability. After the implementation of CARD-F’s interventions the yield of pomegranates will increase by 33% per Jerib, which will create extra USD 176 revenue for the farmer.