Japan to help Afghanistan produce seeds, fertiliser
KABUL(PAN): The Japanese government will provide Afghanistan $11 million in assistance to help the agriculture ministry produce improved quality wheat seeds and chemical fertilisers, a Cabinet minister said on Monday.
As many as 40,000 Afghan families would benefit from the production of improved seeds and fertilisers, Agriculture Minister Mohammad Asif Rahimi told reporters after signing a contract with Japanese Ambassador Rechero Takachi in Kabul.
Farmers in Nangarhar, Kandahar, Kunduz, Takhar and Balkh provinces would be provided with agricultural inputs at subsidised rates this year, the minister promised.
All Afghan growers would be able to purchase improved seeds and fertilisers at reduced rates after five years, he said. Currently, farm inputs worth 5000 afghanis are sold to a farmer for 1,800 afghanis.
The ambassador hoped the assistance would help boost Afghanistan's production of seeds by 40 percent. Japan had given Afghanistan $50 million for the development of its agriculture sector since 2010, Takachi said.
He thanked the government of Afghanistan for assisting the tsunami-hit Japanese. He said his country would continue to assist Afghanistan in different sectors.