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    Bamyan potato harvest set to rise

    KABUL (PAN): The potato harvest would rise by 18 percent in central Bamyan province as a result of better seeds purchased with loans from the Agricultural Development Fund, the agriculture minister said on Monday.

    Mohammad Asif Rahimi said his ministry had already helped build more than 500 cold-storages in the province. "The farm credit will bring new potato seed stock and help the Bamyan economy grow."

    Some 438 farmers in eight co-operatives borrowed $ 926,750 from the ADF, a new credit system which has approved more than $ 16 million in loans to farmers and agribusiness over the past five months.

    "Farmers need to borrow money for seed, fertiliser and machinery, which they cannot pay back before harvest," Rahimi said in a statement, which added the ADF was designed to meet their needs at an affordable cost.

    More than $100 million would be provided initially through the new credit facility, financed with assistance from the USAID, the statement said.