Chief Executive: The Growth of Agricultural Products Is Vital For the Nation's Economy

The meeting of the Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers focused on boosting exports today Monday chaired by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, Chief Executive of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan at Sapedar Palace in Kabul.

The agenda of the meeting was focused on the status of the agricultural products, activities, and programs of the Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the reduction of the cost of security services by the Afghan Public Protection Force to the Private Banks.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock reported that the harvest of crops in 1398 AH was significant, accounting for 80% of the country's exports. The figure is expected to rise next year.

The Ministry of Agriculture said supply was peaked in the middle of the year, but demand and prices dropped due to a lack of markets. On the contrary, winter demand is high and supply is low. This situation is harming the national income and the peasantry.

According to the ministry's assessment, the lack of stable electricity, cold storage facilities and infrastructure, non-standard packaging and border restrictions are major challenges in exporting agricultural products to regional and international markets.

The Ministry of Agriculture announced that work is underway to create industrial parks for crops; designing cold storage facilities, standard packaging, and setting international quality standards. So far, the internationally accepted quality standards have been finalized for 72 different crops.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries said the Afghan Export Development Strategy and Trade Policy has been finalized and a subcommittee and a chamber on agriculture are created to boost exports.

The Ministry of Commerce and Industries reported that there is a joint collaboration between the MoCI, the Ministry of Agriculture, and the Afghanistan National Standard Authority to determine the Standard Quality of Agricultural products based on the international market index. Also, the design of the 8 Cold Storage facilities has been finalized which can accommodate 5,000 tons of crops each.

The Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers decided that the Ministries of Commerce and Agriculture should work on the standardizing packaging of products in coordination with the Chambers of Commerce and the National Standards Authority so that we can better manage products and markets.

Chief Executive Abdullah emphasized the increase of agricultural products and marketing and stated that the relevant institutions should focus on increasing exports.

The Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry reported on the progress and functions of this chamber since its inception in 1396 AH. The chamber is comprised of 31 businesswomen and has trained 600 women in procurement, public participation, and business law so far.

According to reports, 321 women exhibited their products in 30 international exhibitions and were satisfied with their sales. There is also a women entrepreneur’s Industrial Park, which employs 300 women.

The Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry demanded lending, political support, necessary business facilities and cooperation from relevant government agencies.

The Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers decided to hold a meeting of the Committee on the Empowerment of Women focusing on the problems of businesswomen to specifically discuss all issues.

The Chief Executive appreciated the initiative and achievements of the Afghanistan Women Chamber of Commerce and Industry and called its role as significant in contributing to the country's economic growth.

The Ministry of Economy reported on the Afghan Public Protection Force (APPF) contracts with private banks and said that 125 million Afghanis have been saved from the cost of contracts in favor of private banks.