The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock announced on Monday that it is set to grant loans to 7 thousand Afghan farmers in the current solar year through the Agricultural Development Fund (ADF), a program lead and financed by the United States.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has invested over 1 billion and 800 million Afs in the ADF, for the current solar year.
The process to receive applications for receiving loans has been started and will continue until the end of the solar year, MAIL said.
“The Agriculture Development Fund is planned to grant 1.8 billion Afs (over $23M) in loans to over 7 thousand farmers in the current year (1400),” said Akbar Rustami, MAIL spokesman. He added, “The loan distribution process has begun since the beginning of the fiscal year.”
The United States’ USAID program each year contributes a significant fund to the Afghan Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock under the Agriculture Development Fund.
The Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan (ASA), meanwhile, criticized the loan program under ADF, who said that establishing agricultural development bank would support the efficiency of these loans.
“For many years we hear that a development program functions in the Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation, and Livestock, but indeed, it does not have a useful and practical outcome that is expected,” Head of the agriculture department of the ASA, Mohammad Yaseen Farahmand said.
“We do not see any significant achievement in this program therefore, the only effective way is to create an agricultural development bank,” he added.
According to figures provided by MAIL, last year over 1.5 billion Afs were granted in loans to the 6 thousand Afghan farmers through the ADF program.