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News | July 12, 2012

Panjwai farmers learn valuable skills

By Sgt. Matt Young , 117th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment (Hawaii)

PANJWAI, Afghanistan (July 12, 2012) — The Panjwai District Headquarters in Kandahar province hosted 19 local farmers during a four-day Post Harvest Processing and Marketing Training Class with the graduation held here, July 7,  2012.

The class was very important to their grape, raisin, pomegranate and tomato production in the Panjwai District, since Panjwai has become prominent in its production of grapes. 

Kandahar University instructor, Humadullah explained that the farmers were very enthusiastic and asked many thought provoking questions throughout the course. 

“I really enjoyed the class, I learned new ways to cut and hang the grapes and how to take care of our tomatoes,” said one of the farmers, “It was very helpful.”

The farmers learned the advantages of postharvest processing for their crops. They learned how to properly harvest, sort and grade their grapes, raisins, pomegranates and tomatoes. The farmers also learned the proper ways to package their products for shipment to market.

“With the newly learned knowledge these farmers now have, we hope to see them use it to help grow their crops which in return will produce more product for the markets and will in return provide more money for the farmers and their families and help out the whole Panjwai District,” said Humadullah.

At the end of the course each farmer was presented with a certificate and a supply kit. The kit included buckets, an orchard ladder, shears, lugs, gloves, helmets and safety goggles all which will greatly help improve the farmers way of farming their crops and ability to produce product.

The farmers were all smiles and eager to get out to their crops after receiving their certificates and supply kits.

“I would like to attend more classes here if they are about farming,” explained one of the class members. 

In the upcoming weeks there will be a Pest Management course as well as a Composting class for any of the local Panjwai farmers who want to attend. 

“We try to provide weekly classes here at the district headquarters that will help the local farmers,”  said Capt. Varinka Ensminger a Kentucky Agribusiness Development Team member with Task Force Strongbow. “We look forward to working more with the District Development Assembly Chairman Haji Naik Mohammad and scheduling more classes in the near future.”