Agriculture products and handicrafts made by women were displayed in the annual Almond Blossom’s Festival of Daikundi in Nili, the capital city of the province. Nearly 10,000 visitors from the neighboring provinces, mostly from Bamyan, Ghor, Ghazni, and Kabul attended the festival held on Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
As the biggest cultural event in the province, Almond Blossom’s Festival is celebrated every year since 2014. Last year it was not celebrated due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
At the Festival, male and female entrepreneurs showcase their homemade products. Local singers sing folklore music. Students play theater, stage drama, and read poetry.
This year, the festival was attended by a large and diverse number of people. Traditional clothes were also exhibited in the festival and hundreds of female population took part in this festival.
The Almond Blossom’s Festival is held to advertise home-made products of Daikundi, particularly Daikundi almond, said Hussain Seerat, the head of the Information and Culture Department of the province. He described the festival as a good opportunity for cultural exchanges and reinvigorating the old traditions.
Official statistics suggest that 90 percent of Daikundi’s population are working in the agriculture field and 80 percent of them provide their living costs through selling their almond products.
Daikundi’s farmers have produced more than 25 metric tons of 25 types of almonds over the last 1399 solar year, according to Sayed Abdul Wahid Ferozi, the head of the agriculture department in the province. He underlined that thanks to the festivals held over past years, the almond produced in the province has found its way to national and international markets.
According to him, the province’s almond products are now exported to the United Arabic Emirates, India, Central Asia, and some other countries.
Speaking at the festival scene, the former governor of the province, Ahmad Zia Hamdard, said that the local administration was working on a plan to increase almond production and raise fund for it.
The festival is an opportunity for Daikundi’s impoverished people to enjoy their time and bring happiness for them as hundreds of them come a long way from different districts to attend the festival.
The decades-long war coupled with abject poverty have taken our happiness away and this festival makes us laugh from the bottom of our hearth for a moment, says Qudratullah, a participant of the festival.
“This festival brings the opportunity for the people to exchange ideas,” says Salima, who has come a long way to attend the festival.
Using the opportunity, many businesswomen displayed their handicrafts at the festival. Agriculture products and women handicrafts were exhibited in nearly 30 exhibition booths. “Exhibiting our agriculture products is very important for it will help us to find a place in the market,” said Zainab, who is a businesswoman.
Benazir Hussaini, another businesswoman, complained that the government has not worked sufficiently to market women’s handicrafts.