By: Shukria Kohistani
KABUL: The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) has announced that it had approved 255 million Afghanis in loans, aimed at beefing up agriculture in the land-locked country.
Chairing a meeting of the Agricultural Development Fund (ADF), Dr. Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi, Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock and Chairman of the Supreme Council of the Agricultural Development Fund, approved 255 million Afghanis in loans to improve Afghanistan’s agriculture situation, the ministry said in a statement referring to its website.
Appreciating the activities and role of the ADF relating to the high importance of loans in agriculture, he said that these assistances can be effective in Afghanistan’s agricultural growth. Meanwhile, Dr. Aimal Arman, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Agricultural Development Fund, about the measure aims, achievements and recent progress of the fund in granting loans to agricultural businesses, collecting hard-to-get loans, the number of benefited farmers and other matters said that the measure was commendable for helping the country’s farmers with a lending system in the agricultural sector, the statement quoted.
At a meeting held in Kabul, the ADF technical team submitted two loan applications to the high council and provided information on the activities of the loan applicants to the council members and approved loan offers relating to two companies active in the field of agriculture, according to the statement.
One of these companies is a food industry company that will use the money to buy wheat from local farmers and meet its needs, the statement said.
The second borrowing company is a carton manufacturing company that is to use the money to buy carton printing machines and improve the quality of its products. It should be noted that the Agricultural Development Fund is a non-bank government financial institution that operates under the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock.
This fund has an effective role in the growth and improvement of the country’s agriculture by providing services to farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs through financial intermediation and direct lending, which is one of the main tasks of the ADF, the statement added. The fund has so far approved 4.13 billion afghani and distributed more than 7.10 billion afghani to agricultural businesses, agricultural cooperatives and associations, financial intermediaries, livestock farms, fish farming, poultry, processors and exporters of fresh fruits, flour mills, agricultural equipment companies, chemical fertilizer sellers and importers, and other agricultural entrepreneurs. “More than 56,000 farmers in 32 provinces have benefited directly from these services,” said the statement.
“The people of Afghanistan are more interested in investing and working inside Afghanistan,” said Khaybar, a fish processing owner adding there are many fish farms in Afghanistan now that by raising fish in the fish farming they can produce more inside the country and offer fresh fish in the market. “If we have the support of the government, especially the Ministry of Agriculture, in other agricultural sectors, Afghanistan will soon be self-sufficient and the people will benefit from Afghan products,” he said.
Also, in all agriculture sector, particularly in the field of dairy farms, agricultural equipment production companies, production and processing of dried fruits and production of wheat and flour in our country, they need the government cooperation to help Afghanistan become self-sufficient and the need for foreign imports would eye-catchingly reduce.