KABUL, May 31 (Xinhua) — Afghanistan’s Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock planned to provide 1.1 billion afghani (14 million U.S. dollars) in loan to over 14,000 farmers, the ministry announced on Monday.
“Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock is going to lend 1.1 billion afghani to 14,300 farmers via Agricultural Development Fund (ADF), these loans are given for periods of three to five years,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.
On Sunday, the ministry signed agreements with four local finance companies, First Microfinance Bank, OXUS Afghanistan, FINCA-Afghanistan and Tarh-e-Naw Company, under which, the four loan provider agencies will provide loans to farmers and agricultural activities.
Emal Arman, technical director for the ministry’s Agricultural Development Fund (ADF), was quoted in the statement as saying that “the institution has approved 13.2 billion afghani since its inception. Of that amount, more than 10.4 billion afghani has been lent to 55,066 farmers in 32 provinces of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces.”
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He noted that loans have been distributed in various agriculture fields, including agricultural trades, cooperatives associations, livestock farms, fish farming, poultry, fresh and dried fruit processors, exporters, flour mills, agricultural equipment companies, local farms and companies as well as importers of chemical fertilizers and other agricultural entrepreneurs.
The Afghan government has taken measures to invest in the agricultural sector as overall agricultural production dramatically declined in recent years due to drought as well as persistent fighting and instability in rural areas.