Sholgara District

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Sholgara (Persian: شولگره‎) (Pashto: شولګره‎, šol(a)-gara, lit. "rice paddy field") is a district (pop: 106,000) in the southern part of Balkh Province, Afghanistan. It is located at a crossroads between several districts, just south of Mazari Sharif (Mazar). It is commonly said that "who holds Sholgara, holds Mazar".[1] The demography is not clear as no consensus has taken place yet.


The economy is almost entirely agricultural. The Sholgar River irrigates some 40,000 jeribs (8,000 hectares) of land, and another two or three thousand are irrigated from springs. Although rainfall is low (120 mm to 200 mm a year), 150,000 jeribs (30,000 hectares) are in dry farming, mostly wheat and some barley. Only 5% of the agriculture is in orchards.

Nonetheless, Sholgara District, along with Balkh District, are the sole producers of industrial products in Balkh Province.[2] In addition karakul skins are processed in Sholgara District.[2]


Sholgara is very strategically located, it is at the crossroads between many districts: Sangcharak, Kishindih, Dar-I-Suf. The two districts especially known for their resistance against the Talibans are Dar-I-Suf and Sangcharak located on both sides of Sholgara. The district of Sholgara is located just South Mazar and it is commonly said that “who holds Sholgara, holds Mazar”[3]