Customs duty on fruit imports to go up by 150pc: Ghani
KABUL (Pajhwok): While insisting on a proper irrigation system, President Ashraf Ghani acknowledged on Sunday the government’s failure in producing, supplying and distributing and utilising water over the past four years.
Speaking at an agriculture exhibition in the Badam Bagh area of Kabul, Ghani told farmers: “Every kilogram of year production means that Afghanistan will not need agriculture products from other countries.”
As imported items were being consumed across the country, millions of Afghans -- male and female in rural areas -- remained jobless, the president regretted, stressing the consumption of domestic products.
Water management in the country over the past four years had not been effective and every grower should know how much water they needed and how much they were apportioned for their crops, he said.
“There would be no trade and no industry if there is no agriculture in the country. We are a respectable nation, so we can’t live without honour,” the president remarked, alluding to the need for autarky.
Based on an assessment by the Ministry of Agriculture, he said, 55 percent of water was being wasted before it reached farms. The Ministry of Rural Development has been working on water heads and canals.
“If we have an equitable water distribution system and the government properly manages the resource, agricultural production will increase remarkably,” the president observed.
“I will instruct the Ministry of Finance to jack up the customs duty on fruit imports fruit by 150 percent,” he said, adding work on the first-ever agricultural park of Barikab would commence this year.
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