By: Shukrya Kohistani
KABUL: The country’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) is planned to provide 1.1 billion Afghanis in loan to 14,300 farmers through Agricultural Development Fund ((ADF), for the periods of three to fifty years, the ministry announced.
The loan agreement was signed today in the presence of Dr. Anwarul Haq Ahady, MAIL minister, between Dr. Emal Arman, the director of (ADF), and officials of First Microfinance Bank, OXUS Afghanistan, FINCA Afghanistan and Tarh-e-Naw Company at the Ministry of Agriculture,” said the ministry referring to its official website.
Four specific agricultural sectors will benefit from these loans, adding that we are signing four contracts that will provide 1.1 billion Afghanis to four different financial institutions, he said of these two are small lending institutions to farmers or institutions linked to agricultural sector, saying that five hundred million Afghani will be lent to the First Microfinance Bank (FMFB), three million afghani to OXUS Afghanistan, one hundred million Afghanis to FINCA and about two hundred million Afghanis to Tarh-e-Naw Company, totally, over 14,000 farmers will benefit from these loans. Ahadi said that these financial institutions expected to be borrowed from Agricultural Development Fund as a result of signing of this memorandum, will each provide smaller loans to farmers and agricultural activities.
Dr. Emal Arman, ADF director, said: “The institution has approved 13.2 billion Afghanis since its inception. Of that amount, more than 10.4 billion afghani has been lent to 55,066 farmers in 32 provinces.”
Mr. Arman added that these loans have been distributed in various fields, including agricultural trades, agricultural cooperatives and associations, financial intermediaries, livestock farms, fish farming, poultry, fresh and dried fruit processors and exporters, flour mills, agricultural equipment companies, farms and companies.
Importers of chemical fertilizers and other agricultural entrepreneurs. He stressed that farmers and agricultural operators who have so far benefited from loans from the Agricultural Development Fund, their incomes and production have increased by twenty-one to twenty-five percent. Meanwhile, Mohammad Shafi Aminzadah, directorof a poultry farm that has benefited from loans from ADF, says that the granting of various loans by MAIL has improved activities in livestock and agricultural sectors.
He said many of the struggling agricultural and livestock companies were standing on their own two feet with loans from the Agricultural Development Fund, saying his poultry company in Kabul was able to increase its production after borrowing and is now able to produce up to 50,000 chickens a day.
The Agricultural Development Fund was established as a non-bank entity in 2010 at a cost of $100 million in U.S assistance to farmers and companies in agriculture and livestock access to large and small loans, under the leadership of the Ministry of Agriculture.
Providing lending services to farmers, agricultural entrepreneurs through financial intermediation and granting loans directly to applicants in order to grow and improve agriculture is one of the main responsibilities of this fund, the statement concluded.