The Afghanistan National Nursery Growers' Organization (ANNGO) was established in 2008 with support from the European Commission funded Perennial Horticulture Development Project (PHDP). ANNGO is registered with the Ministry of Economy as a non-governmental organisation (NGO). ANNGO acts as the national apex body for the fruit tree nursery growers of Afghanistan. Membership is comprised representatives of local nursery grower associations (NGAs) from all the main fruit tree nursery growing parts of the country. As of mid 2010, there were 28 local nursery grower association members.
ANNGO's Objectives
ANNGO is dedicated to improving the standard of production of fruit tree saplings, to meet the need for high quality planting materials as the basis for an expanding, export oriented fruit production industry in Afghanistan. This will be achieved by the introduction of a nationwide fruit tree certification scheme, based on international standards, and within an official regulatory system. ANNGO also has the purpose of increasing the income and other benefits to its members, by support to training in fruit tree production technology and business management. ANNGO will also undertake marketing support for the certified fruit tree production, by making fruit growers and donors aware of the benefits of planting high quality certified fruit tree saplings. ANNGO also has an important role in representing the nursery growers to official bodies who are concerned with the regulation of fruit tree quality, plant health and planting material imports. These official bodies should be aware of the dangers of unregulated imports of planting materials that could carry injurious pests and diseases, to the long term detriment of the fruit production industry in the country.
ACTIVITIES
Fruit Tree Certification
ANNGO is responsible for running the fruit tree certification scheme for the nursery growers who are members of the local nursery grower associations. While as yet there are no government regulations on the production and sale of planting materials, the membership of ANNGO is contingent on following the rules of the certification scheme.
Mother Stock Trees
The nursery grower associations throughout the country have established a large number of registered mother stock nurseries, from which bud wood and cuttings material will be obtained for production of certified planting material. The mother stock nurseries are planted with true to type mother stock trees supplied by PHDP, or from certified European imported materials. As of mid 2010, registered mother stock trees are available for almond, apricot, peach, plum, citrus and limited numbers of grape and pomegranate. In future years, mother stock trees of apple, pear , cherry, fig and other species will be made available.
Clean Planting Materials
A virus indexing laboratory in Kabul has identified the virus infection status of the complete range of source materials of the almond, apricot, peach, plum, citrus and grapes. Where necessary, infected plant materials can be cleaned up and virus free materials released to the mother stock nurseries. Most planting material currently available are substantially virus free.
Certified Fruit Tree Prduction
Apart from some pilot production, the production of certified fruit trees of almond, apricot, peach and plum and some citrus began in 2010. Delivery of the first certified trees in large quantities is scheduled for February/March 2012.
Technical Development
PHDP works with all the varieties of fruits and nuts commercially produced in the ANNGO member nurseries, and are evaluating these varieties at six Perennial Horticulture Development Centres around the country. PHDP is also working with a large number of newly imported varieties which will be made available for production by the ANNGO members once evaluation is complete. ANNGO works with PHDP on the development of a range of improved rootstocks across a whole range of species. Some 30 rootstocks are currently under test or development, with a range of clonal rootstocks being made available to nursery grower associations from 2011. ANNGO also works with PHDP and partner NGOs on the provision of training to nursery growers, either at the Perennial Horticulture Development Centres or at other locations.
Publicity and Marketing
ANNGO participates in Field Days, AgFairs and other occasions to promote the use of improved planting materials and to publicise the developments in improved production of planting materials. Further developments will include variety catalogues, describing the points of each variety of fruit tree, so that orchard and vineyard growers can make informed choices for their fruit tree purchases. The ANNGO members also have at their disposal a large number of demonstration orchards around the country. Here the fruit growers, or potential fruit growers, can see and choose which varieties they wish o purchase from the nursery growers.