The fourth meeting of the Agribusiness and Export Development working group was held on Wednesday, February 17, 2021, in the conference room of the Deputy of Irrigation and Natural Resources, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock with the presence of Co-Chairs, permanent members, and visiting members of the working group.
In the beginning, Mr. Heshmatullah Ghafouri, Deputy Minister of Irrigation and Natural Resources of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, started the meeting and thanked the participants for their efforts in implementing the reforms. He promised that the Ministry is ready to cooperate with the PriSEC Committee and relevant institutions in implementing reforms to develop the private sector. Then, each of the institutions presented a brief report on the progress of the implementation of the reforms related to the second PriSEC Working Group (Agribusiness and Export Development).
The important issues discussed in this meeting are as follows:
- Implementation of 6 % subsidies for exporting carpet is planned and final and is awaiting approval of the budget. The Ministry of Finance has proposed $124 million to implement this procedure. It was decided to operate under this budget by the middle of 1400.
- The President’s decree on the privatization of agricultural fairs by the private sector in Badam Bagh has been obtained. Also, the procedure for this reform and the memorandum of understanding between the private sector and the Ministry of Agriculture has been prepared. Now the private sector can hold their exhibitions in Badam Bagh.
- The framework plan for establishing and equipping animal and vegetable quarantine laboratories in the port provinces has been evaluated. And the construction work of the quarantine networks in the country’s ports is 90% complete. Fortunately, there are quarantine centers in 13 ports and 5 standard certificates have been trained according to which animals are exported. In 1400, equipment will be purchased and several buildings will be built.
- The design of modern fruit cold storage chains in provinces and ports was evaluated and key provinces for the establishment of modern fruit cold storage have also been identified. Currently, there are 14 cold storage facilities in 12 provinces with a capacity of 1,000 tons.
- In 1399, 107 hectares of commercial gardens were built. In 1400, 270 hectares are planned for commercial gardens. There are no standard processing centers in the country. Two standard processing centers were planned in Kandahar and Farah, the activities have some progress but stopped due to problems. The problems have been partially resolved, and a plan is to build a standard processing center in the two provinces in 1400.
Attendees of the meeting were delegates’ of the First Vice President, Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock, Chamber of Agricultural Production and Livestock, Afghanistan Chambers Federation, Ministry of Finance, Department of Plant Protection and Quarantine, Investment Facilitation Office, Afghanistan National Standards Authority, and the PriSEC Secretariat.