President Ghani while giving a speech at the 5th National Conference on Agricultural Development in Kabul announced that Afghanistan’s pine nut reached China and that everything which is produced in the country should be exported. He thus emphasised on export based economy.
He said that the good news is that the market of Azerbaijan and UAE are open for Afghan investors.
Ghani added that at least 20 billion cubic meters of water should be preserved from the country’s water resources. “Water is our dignity,” Ghani says. Afghanistan has witnessed one of the worst drought bouts in the past couple of years, affecting agricultural productivity, as showed in the Asian Development Bank’s report on development outlook.
President Ghani said that agriculture was “heavily” damaged in recent droughts in the country but adds that government remains committed to helping those who were affected by the droughts.
The ADB recently released their Asian Development outlook, in which it was highlighted that growth in agriculture shrank from 3.8% to 2.0% as drought affected majority of the country, and this led the wheat production to fall by 71% in rainfed fields and by 6% in the much smaller irrigated area.
The silver lining was that Afghan industry picked up to grow by 2.0%, and services expanded by 2.5%, however the statistics are unchanged from the previous year.
Public consumption and investment both increased slightly on higher government budget expenditure in 2018, the report notes while it added that private consumption is estimated to have contracted as continued drought squeezed rural incomes, while business uncertainty caused private investment to decelerate.
In terms of trade, net exports continued to weigh on growth, and the ADB estimates say that the net exports were ‘probably aggravated by the re-imposition of international sanctions on neighboring Iran’ which is one of Afghanistan’s main trade partners.