The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) on Tuesday signed a contract with AECOM, an American multinational engineering firm, for feasibility study of an irrigation canal in the north of Afghanistan.
According to the ministry, the Khosh Tepa canal is one of the largest in the country and that it will include Jawzjan, Balkh and Kunduz provinces and will have the capacity to irrigate at least 500,000 hectares of land.
The ministry said that this phase of the project will cost $3.6 million, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
“Only the feasibility study of the project costs $3.6 million which will be paid by the USAID,” said Nasir Ahmad Durani, the Minister of Agriculture.
He said the US company will conduct the feasibility study of the project.
An economic affairs analyst, Abdulwasi Haidari, said government should implement such projects throughout the country to overcome lack of water and increase agricultural and horticultural products in the country.
“Investing in agriculture and horticulture in Afghanistan and its modernization on the one other hand will increase agricultural products and will directly impact people’s lives,” said Haidari.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock says the feasibility study of the canal will be completed in 12 months and that practical work of the canal will start based on findings of the feasibility study.