|Nasri, Mohammad - AFGHAN CONSERVATION CORP|
|Shovic, Henry - USDA FOREST SERVICE|
Submitted to: Northern Nut Growers Association Report
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 23, 2007
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: The current condition of the pistachio woodlands of Afghanistan requires a coordinated effort to inventory and protect the remaining resource; appropriately select materials for propagation; then efficiently collect, process, store and deploy those materials. To be successful, these efforts must reflect the priorities of the local communities who will sustain, and be sustained by, the woodlands. Ideally, efforts should be consistent with, and be supported by, recommendations made by a concerned international community. The Afghan Conservation Corps has successfully initiated plantings of pistachio by direct seeding at several locations across the major pistachio growing regions of northern Afghanistan and have established ex situ plantings at two regional nurseries. This paper reports the efforts of an international team who evaluated the status of Pistacia in Afghanistan and efforts being made for its conservation. Information is provided to aid in identification of different Pistacia species. Procedures are recommended to aid in the inventory of the existing resource, identify superior individuals for regeneration efforts, and protect those from destruction by over grazing or cutting for firewood. Information is provided to aid collection of materials and critical records at the appropriate time. Procedures are given to improve post harvest processing for maximum seed and nut quality. Recommendations are made for establishing plantings within the constraints of the program, given various program objectives. Critical management is addressed to insure survival of existing plantations and long-term program success.
Technical Abstract: Four species of Pistacia have been reported within Afghanistan: Pistacia vera L., P. Khinjuk Stocks, P.atlantica subsp. cabulica (Stocks) Rech. f., and P. integerrima (=P. chinensis subsp. integerrima (J.L. Stewart) Rech. f.). Information on their identification is provided based on recent literature, with photographs provided of vouchers from verified collections. Species distributions based on previous reports are provided. Reports of P. vera population destruction based on satellite imagery analysis preformed in 2002 are interpreted on the basis of a 2005 assessment. The existing program of the Afghan Conservation Corps is evaluated in detail, with special attention focused on the need for more critical selection of seed stocks. Recommendations are made for critical managerial inputs that could facilitate stand establishment and contribute to long-term program success.