Afghan farmers on Sunday stated that insufficient water and lack of agricultural land is hindering many investors from establishing commercial farms in the country.
In recent years, the Afghan government has promoted a new style of farming to attract more investment in the agriculture sector in the country.
However, the new commercial farming style is not widely used in the country and has not attracted significant investment in the agriculture sector until now.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock (MAIL) said it has established many commercial farms on nearly 10 thousand hectares of land in many parts of the country, utilizing the ministry's national farming and gardening program.
“These programs were not executed wisely. If they had been, it would have raised the farmers' and garden owners' income and it could have standardized farming in the country,” said Mumtaz Karokhail, a member of the Paktia provincial council.
Commercial farming is considered the means to improve the export of fresh and dry fruits in the country.
Each commercial farm lies on nearly 4 hectares of land.
The commercial farms yield 10 times more than the conventional farms, said officials in the Agriculture Ministry.
“More than a thousand gardens have been grown across the country, which includes gardens of pomegranate, pistachio, and other fruits,” said Agriculture Ministry spokesman Akbar Rustami.
Experts say that international customers are interested in Afghanistan's fresh and dry fruits, therefore the Afghan private sector intends to invest billions of dollars in establishing commercial farms in the country.
“The government should put more effort into developing and growing more commercial farms, as it can change people’s lives in villages,” said Esmatullah Ishaq, an expert in economics.
As more than 50% of the Afghanistan population work in agriculture, this sector plays a significant role in the development of the country’s economy.