Ghazni economic report
GHAZNI CITY (PAN): The official in southern Ghazni province said that 80% residents depend on the agriculture and livestock, but due to lack of water resources, market and the storage facilities the farmers and landlords face problems.
The trade also has its importance, as the province is located on the route of several provinces, and the business of many provinces including Paktia, Paktika, Zabul and MaidanWardak are carried out in Ghazni province.
Sultan Hussain Abasyar, the director of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock department told Pajhwok Afghan News if attention is paid to agriculture and livestock and the need of the water is fulfilled the agriculture economic will flourish.
He said the agriculture and livestock is becoming mechanized and the agriculture development bank will play instrumental role to improve the economy of people.
According to the department over 325 thousand acres land is water irrigated while over 85 thousand acre land is rain fed which produce thousand tons harvest.
The director said that each year thousands of tons of grain (wheat, barley) fruit (grapes, apples, almond and apricot) vegetables (onions, potatoes, leak and pea) are produced, but cannot fulfill the food requirement of the people.
The farmers and landlords also complain that they did not get the necessary assistance and they don’t hope any change in near future that there will be any attention to agriculture sector for development.
Ali Khan, resident of Muqur district said that he has grapes garden and dozens acre of farming land and in last eight years he was provided with assistance only once with a bag of improved seed and fertilizer.
He said the farmers needed infrastructural assistance in which the most important one is the facility of storage and the marketing for products.
Ali Khan wanted to have water dames in each district and have better markets and stores for the fruits.
Farmers in Qarabagh district have similar complains, a tribal elder Haji Abdul Qayum said he has a grape garden, and he is looking after all the farming issues and did not get any assistance from government and NGOs.
He said most of the farming land in Qarabagh are irrigated through Karez water, but the water in Karez are reducing, therefore, small water dames shall be constructed and the farming shall be mechanized, in addition improved seeds and saplings shall be distributed to farmers.
Marketing was also key for the agriculture produces, Haji Abdul Qayum said, the government shall provide opportunity for the sell of the products, in last years the crops were sold in half of the price for the fear of spoiling and were sent to Pakistan “over 70 per cent of our people are involved in farming, so the government shall work more in this regard and provide opportunities for people” He concluded.
In 2010 plans were underway to construct cold storages in some districts and provincial capital, but no action has been taken yet.
Abdul Wali Khanzada, a provincial council member said that there were problems in farming and no action has been taken to address them.
He said there has been no support to farmers and landlords and nothing has been done to store and process the products.
He said insecurity was the main cause of the problem, as the insecurity deteriorated the farming and conditions are not good for businessmen to invest.
He said that over thirty per cent residents are jobless and joblessness is a predisposing factor for insecurity.
Most areas of KhwajaOmari district and the provincial capital are irrigated from Sultan Dam and the Gairo and Andar districts are irrigated from Sardi dame.
Resident of Andar and the provincial council member Amanullahkamrani said that the dames and canals need to be cleaned so the problem or irrigation water can be addressed.
He said that over 35000 acre farming land were being irrigated by the Sardi dame in last thirty years, but the canals have been filled with mud and most of the farming land turned to dried land. The security has been restored in Andar district and the work on the reconstruction can be restarted.
Trade and investment:
The officials of the Chamber and Commerce are dismayed and said that the Ghazni economy did not develop as it was expected.
Abdul MatinQalandari, the head of Chamber and Commerce in Ghazni said that the security was not stable and in last three years, sons of the businessmen were abducted and were released for ransom and some were even killed, which made the investors concerned.
He said the government has never supported investors in Ghazni, and there are better work opportunities in other provinces compare to Ghazni, that is why people are not interested to invest in Ghazni.
He said Ghazni investors usually invest in other provinces or abroad, if the government pay attention to the private sector and provide better conditions, and security improves, then the economy of people will improve and people will have job opportunity.
There are only five factories in Ghazni province and the owners face lack of power which caused them a lot of problems.
Qalandari complained that the government did not pay any attention to investors, businessmen, farmers and there is no plan to design an action plan.
Seven years back a plot was identified for the industrial zone in Ghaznicity, however the land was not distributed to investors and businessmen, while cases were filed over the ownership of the land.
Khairullah has business in UAE said that the life conditions were not good in UAE, let alone investing in the province.
He said two years back he wanted to construct a modern market and a hotel in Ghazni city, but his brother was threatened on the phone and was asked to pay a ransom of $30000.
He added that he paid for those who threatened his brother and his brother returned to UAE, but three years later my brother returned to Ghazni and wanted to go to his village to meet his relatives but on the way armed people abducted him and three days later he was killed by the abductors.
Insecurity is the biggest hurdle to development; however the security officials in Ghazni claimed that the graph of the insecurity and crimes lowered compare to the past.
ZarwarZahid, Ghazni police chief said that the security improved in the provincial capital and districts and the construction work is going on compare to the past.
Handcraft has a history I n Ghazni province and is the part of its culture, however in recent years the handcraft has seen a decline.
rugs, weaving and other products such as clay and the embroidery of women were famous from the past and has national and international popularity.
Noor Agha, 70, who has a shop of clay products said that the industry had values since long back, but now the clay dishes are used less and the market has declined.
He said only flower vase and butter producing dishes have markets and other products did not have any market.
He said about thirty years the handcraft had big popularity, and only in Ghazni province there were over 50 clay shops and over 100 shops of other handcraft products, but now there are only three shops of clay products and two of other handcraft products including parchments.
He said people don’t use handcrafts anymore and they are more interested to purchase foreign products so the buyers decreased.
He asked the government to launch some exhibition in and out of the country for the promotion of handcrafts.
In general farmers, businessmen and handcraft workers want peaceful environment, work facilities and better conditions to expand the business.
The animal products including dairy products, meats and others do not have good market in recent years.
Abdul Khaliq a businessmen of parchment said that the market has declined in last thirty years and the reasons is that people stopped husbandry as they used to do in the past.
He said drought also had its effect on graze land, in the past nomads kept sheep, while the husbandry has reduced.
In addition to the fresh fruit in Ghazni province, dried fruit also have special market.
Haji Hamayoon, a businessmen of fresh and dried fruit said that the products of the dried and fresh fruit depend on the season, if the season was good the market will be good.
He said there was no space for the storage and process of dried fruit and there was no support of government to explore markets for the products.
There are some medicinal plants in Ghazni province which are used locally for the treatment of some disease.
A sikh in Ghazni, KhalisaBashardost said that the medicinal plants were used in some houses and are very popular.
He said the plants decreased but still have markets, in Pakistan, Iran, India and Europe.
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