Afghanistan: Growers need markets

Officials of Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation on Wednesday said that onion production has significantly increased in the northern province of Takhar, to more than 60,000 tons.

This year Takhar saw a dramatic rise in onion production compared to other provinces as farmers harvested over 14,000 kg onions from each acres of land, said the officials. “In consideration of this rise in the production of fruits and vegetables, we predict that onion production may further increase,” said Akbar Rustami, spokesman for the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.

But agriculture experts have said that the Afghan government needs to search for new markets for the domestic onions, otherwise local farmers will not be interested in growing more onions in years to come.

“If Afs100 (€1.15) is spent on an Afghan product and then it is sold for Afs30 (€0.35), the local farmers face a 70 Afs loss and after that the farmer will no longer grow agricultural products,” said Mohammad Yasin Farahmand, member of the Afghan Academy of Science.

But the biggest challenge regarding agricultural products is the available market, which this year is not big enough. The Chamber of Commerce and Investment said that finding a market needs a proper mechanism. “Other countries should not resort to such moves that could hurt Afghan business and their agricultural relations with Afghanistan,” Mohmmad Younus Momand, deputy head of Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Industries (ACCI) told tolonews.com.


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