France to help find market for Kandahar products
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): French Ambassador Jean-Michel Marlaud on Wednesday said his country would help farmers and orchard owners of southern Kandahar province to find market overseas for their products.
Marlaud, who was accompanied by the senior US civilian representative to southern Afghanistan Edward Alford and Dr. Sukanya Mohandas, Political Affairs Officer at UNAMA, held a meeting with Kandahar Governor Tooryalai Weesa.
Weesa briefed the French ambassador about the situation in his province, saying most of the residents were associated with farming and their major problem was the lack of a proper market for their products.
He said the lack of access to proper market had left farmers with no option but to grow poppy plant in their fields.
The governor believed foreign aid agencies could play a vital role in finding market for products of Kandahar farmers abroad.
However, Weesa criticised foreign aid organisations for designing and implementing projects against the needs of local population.
He sought aid for the newly-established Agriculture and Information Technology University in Kandahar, saying the campus could prove highly beneficial in the long-term promotion of agriculture sector of the country.
The French envoy promised efforts at finding market for agriculture products of Kandahar, especially pomegranates.
Marlaud said Kandahar was an important province and efforts were being made to assist it in diverse fields.
He also promised assistance for the new university in order to enable its students to pursue standard education.
Meanwhile, Iranian Consul General in Kandahar Hamid Raza Karimi called on governor Weesa at his office.
Karimi stressed increased trade relations between the two neighbouring countries and said hurdles in visas to Afghans had been removed.
He said there had been complaints from Afghans that they were issued Iranian visas after prolonged delays, but this issue had been resolved and now the Afghans could easily obtain visas.
Karimi also expressed his condolences on behalf of the people and the government of Iran over the loss of precious lives in a landslide incident in northeastern Badakhshan province, saying his country would soon assist the affected families.
Weesa told Karimi he would visit Iran at an appropriate time to push for further improvement in relations between the two countries.
He thanked Iran for relaxing visa procedures for Afghans, saying the move would help further boost ties between the neighbours.
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