By: Shukria Kohistani
Afghanistan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock is preparing for improvement of agricultural situation by implementing various agricultural programs during the 1,400 solar year.
Launching agricultural festival to mark National Farmer’s Day, planting millions of saplings, creating fruits orchards, revival of forests, implementing empowerment programs for women working in agriculture sector, distribution of seeds, training programs for farmers and dozens of other programs for the country’s farmers and orchard owners are among a series of programs which are in top working priorities of the ministry of agriculture, irrigation and livestock during the 1,400 solar year.
In an interview with The Kabul Times correspondent, a spokesperson to the ministry of agriculture, irrigation and livestock Akbar Rustami by pointing to the ministry’s programs and plans for the new solar year said unfortunately there were serious concerns over predictions and threat of drought and the country’s agriculture sector might face with some challenges, but the ministry of agriculture, irrigation and livestock was determined to implement some practical programs to improve the agricultural situation despite of all challenges ahead.
Briefing related to programs of the ministry of agriculture, irrigation and livestock for the new solar year, Rustami said the ministry has launched a campaign for planting more than 37 million saplings across the country, adding that the campaign was launched with close cooperation of relevant government institutions on 10 March coinciding with National Day for Planting Sapling and was still underway.
“The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock with its 12 billion AFG development budget for the 1,400 solar year is determined to spend the amount in various areas of the agriculture, irrigation and livestock sector in the country,” Rustami said, adding that the agricultural products management project including construction of cold-store for onions, potatoes and raisins and fruits particularly apple and pomegranate will be implemented during the new solar year. He further said that the ministry of agriculture, irrigation and livestock has created various fruits orchards in more than 40,000 hectare land across the country, adding that considerable changes have been made for the orchards of pistachio as more than 40,000 new orchards of pistachios have been created in 120 districts of the country during the past one year.
“Fruits and vegetables products fortunately increased by 20 percent during the 1,399 solar year,” the MAIL spokesperson said, adding that wheat product has reached to 5.1 metric tons comparing to previous year, showing 5 percent increase. He hoped agricultural products would increase during the new solar year.
It is determined that the ministry of agriculture, irrigation and livestock holds the agricultural festival ‘Farmer Festival’ in Kabul’s Badam Bagh on 22nd of March as the ministry has invited farmers from all provinces to widely participate and exhibit their agricultural products in the festival.