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Farmers to harvest 150,000 tons of grapes in Herat province this year

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(Last Updated On: July 24, 2022)

Small-scale farmers are expected to harvest about 150,000 tons of grapes in Herat province this year, agriculture department officials said Sunday. 

The Herat Department of Agriculture and Livestock said more than 60 percent of these grapes will become raisins and then exported.

“We are now in the grape harvest season; fortunately, Herat plays an important role in the field of grapes; there are 12,120 hectares under cultivation, and we expect to produce nearly 150,000 tons,” said Hamidullah Naseri, the provincial head of the agriculture and livestock department.

A shortage of cold storage units and the closure of air cargo corridors for the purpose of exporting Herat grapes has forced local farmers to turn their attention to raisins instead. 

“Due to the lack of cold storage facilities and the lack of air corridors and foreign flights, we could not export grapes this year, so more attention is paid to raisins,” said Bashir Ahmad Bahaderi, head of Herat Chamber of Agriculture and Livestock.

Currently, gardeners harvest more than 70 types of grapes in this province, but most of their harvest is sold at very low prices on the domestic market.

“We have a lot of problems in the market for selling grapes, we buy fertilizer for 6,600 AFN, but once we bring the grapes to the market, we sell them for 60 or 70 AFN,” said Esmatullah, a farmer.  

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MoIC ships large consignment of Afghan products to Europe

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(Last Updated On: November 26, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate’s Ministry of Industry and Commerce (MoIC) says the largest shipment to date of Afghan exports was dispatched on Saturday to Europe.

According to officials, 120 tons was sent overland. Of this seven tons was saffron and the rest was goods that included dried fruits and carpets. The export volume is worth $2 million.

MoIC officials meanwhile stated that they support the businessmen of the country and will help solve their problems but stated the expansion of economic activities depends on investment by businessmen.

“Our country’s products such as dried fruit, saffron and cotton have been sent to European countries many times in the past, as well as to Canada and Australia,” said Qudratullah Jamal, deputy minister of Industry and Commerce.

On the other hand, Afghanistan Chamber of Commerce and Investment (ACCI) has called on local businessmen to invest in the country.

“Today, a large shipment of 120 tons worth several million dollars is being shipped from Afghanistan, which is not only dried fruit but also saffron, carpets and minerals, which are actually exported to foreign countries via Karachi, Haritaan and Bandar Abbas ports,” said Khanjan Alkozi, a member of the ACCI.

This comes after Afghanistan exported about 12 tons of pine nuts, and eight tons of raisins and pistachios to Germany through Islam Qala port last month.

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Afghan assets moved to Swiss bank generate $36 million: Ahadi

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(Last Updated On: November 25, 2022)

The $3.5 billion in Afghan central bank assets that were transferred to a Swiss-based trust fund have generated $36 million interest, Anwar-ul-Haq Ahadi, a member of the fund’s board said this week.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Ariana News, Ahadi said that there have been no disbursments since the fund was created in recent months.

“It has been put in circulation over the last few months. It has generated $36 million interest which are added to the assets. But it is possible that there will be disbursements in the future,” Ahadi said.

The former Afghan central bank chief and former finance minister also suggested that the assets could also be used to provide liquidity to the banking system in Afghanistan.  

“We want to reach an understanding in this regard with the central bank and the finance ministry,” he said.

Ahadi said that the main purpose of establishing the fund is preserving the central bank’s assets.

“After Afghanistan’s relations with the world become normal, the assets will be transferred to the central bank,” Ahadi added.

The $3.5 billion forms part of an original $7 billion being held in the United States following the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan’s (IEA) takeover in August 2021.

No representative of the central bank is in the board managing the fund. Ahadi said that an advisory committee that will be created later and it will likely have represetnative of the central bank.

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IEA says ground paved for the implementation of major economic projects in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: November 25, 2022)

The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) says all grounds have been paved for the implementation of huge economic projects in the country.

The Islamic Emirate officials have recently said that they are taking steps to start big economic and regional projects in the country.

According to them, the government is fully prepared to implement all major economic projects, including the transfer of 500 KV power lines, TAPI, and CASA-1000 projects that lead to regional connectivity.

The IEA spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid has emphasized that measures have been taken to implement these projects and to establish a railway between Central and South Asia.

“The Islamic Emirate has taken all the necessary preparations for the completion of these projects, including 500 KV power lines, TAPI and CASA-1000 projects,” said Mujahid.

“In terms of security, the number of employees and duties related to the government, the preparations have been made complete,” he added.

According to Mujahid, the government is waiting for the countries involved in these projects to show full readiness.

Meanwhile, the members of the private sector also call on the Islamic Emirate to increase its efforts to implement large economic projects, adding that the process of supporting these projects can get the country out of the economic crisis.

Economic experts meanwhile still consider regional economic projects as necessary to improve the country’s economy and demand serious attention from the government in this sector.

In the past years, the lack of security was said to be one of the biggest challenges to the implementation of immense economic projects in Afghanistan, but after the Islamic Emirate’s takeover, the problem has been resolved.

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