With an increase in agricultural products, urban-rural ties will get further strengthened

Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan attended this morning the 15th international exhibition of agricultural products and celebration of the international day of rural women that was initiated by Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock.

In the ceremony that was held on this occasion in Badam Bagh area of Kabul city and in which the First Lady was also present, President Ghani felicitated the farmer women on the occasion of the international day of rural women. President Ghani underscored the importance of agriculture as the foundation for stability in Afghanistan and added that in absence of a developed agriculture, we may not have security.

Thanking the farmers, gardeners, animal husbandry men, agro-industrialists, and agro-investors, President Ghani said that
Afghanistan is the common home of all Afghans and the Afghans together will serve and defend this country in their own ways – the security forces by their bravery and valor, the farmers by their shovels and tractors, and the wealthy by investing.

President Ghani thanked Ministry of Agriculture and other sectoral ministries as well as international partners for their efforts in developing agriculture, and highlighted the importance of establishing a virtuous cycle as a means of enhancing quality agricultural products as well as creation of a million jobs.

President Ghani said that increase in agricultural crops facilitates access to quality products and strengthens the urban-rural ties and provide better living conditions for our people and discourage people leaving the country.

The President called water, land, seeds, agricultural tools and farmer the five significant elements of agriculture, and assured that the government will invest in organizing and integrating all the five

Highlighting the importance of integrating water and land, President Ghani said the sectoral ministries together with other ministries in the cabinet will join efforts to this end.

Touching on the experiences of East-Asian countries, President Ghani said that the farmers with smaller land could cause a major change and in turn improve the living conditions for themselves and their countrymen. He added that about 600 years ago in Herat province a book was published in which a thousand types of agricultural crops were explained.

President Ghani noted that the national solidarity program will go through fundamental change, and the urban solidarity program is in the process of being set up as a result of which the cities and the villages get connected to each other. Our strategic goal is to turn Afghanistan from an importing country into an exporter of agricultural
products, the President stressed.

The President said that strengthening the role of the women involved in farming constitutes one of the major goals of the government. He said that Afghan women play a significant role in production; however they do not receive the cash benefits, that is why it is vital for us to link women with the value chain grid.

Speaking about growth of agricultural products, President Ghani said that the government decided to give preference to the domestic products by 15%, and added that the government will develop a plan based upon which the needs of the security forces will be supplied from domestic products on a gradual basis.

With regards to marketing of domestic agricultural products, President Ghani directed the ministries of commerce and finance that in their second 100-day action plans identify the challenges in export of agricultural products and seek solutions for them.

President Ghani called saffron a good alternative for poppy and added that China is ready to buy the country’s annual product of saffron. The President said that much has been done in the agriculture sector
this year.

Speaking on importance of agriculture to economic development, President Ghani said thanks to the development of agriculture and value chain, nations of the world have been able to get rid of poverty.

At the end of the ceremony, President Ghani visited the booths where agricultural products from different provinces were on display.

Source: Office of the President