Ghani asks government institutions to prioritize domestic agriculture in their purchases contracts
Ghani Questions Ministry’s Technical Abilities
From the beginning of the next solar year (March), all domestic agricultural products will be included in government procurement contracts.
Speaking at the 21st exhibition of agricultural products in Kabul, President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday said that in order to support farmers, government institutions must prioritize domestic agriculture products in their purchase contracts.
Ghani also emphasized the need for the improvement of marketing of these products.
Ghani said that for this year for the first time, 20,000 tons of domestically grown rice has been purchased for the ministry of defense, as has domestically farmed chickens.
“The reason why the poultry farm is now standing on its own feet is that we changed the Ministry of Interior’s menu; there was no chicken on the menu. By adding chicken one day a week the poultry industry is standing on its own feet in Afghanistan. If the Afghan poultry keep me confident, I will include it on the menu seven days a week. You invest, we buy,” said Ghani.
“Traders and investors have the opportunity to discuss trading and investment in agriculture in the area dedicated to them, they must also talk and discuss about trading and investing in agriculture,” said Nasir Ahmad Durani Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock.
Meanwhile, Ghani criticized the ministry of agriculture for their lack of capacity and said that annually the value of Afghanistan’s pine nuts totals $1.8 billion but that Afghanistan only receives $250 million.
Ghani said that he is skeptical about the technical expertise at the ministry.
“I have doubts about the specialty of the experts. So I want them to prove to me that they are really experts,” Ghani said.
On the other hand, a number of farmers at the exhibition called on government to help market their products.
“Production increased and we also packaging, now we need the market. There are not enough air corridors. We must also search for ground routes,” said Gul Ahmad Khan a farmer.
The exhibition was held for three days in Badam Bagh of Kabul city and will be open to the public and stakeholders until Friday. In total 236 stalls make up this expo.