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Japan turns 16500 hectares of barren desert into arable land

By Akhtar M.Nikzad-KABUL: The Japan Embassy in Kabul on Monday said that the country has turned 16,500 hectares of barren land desert into arable land in eastern Nangarhar province.

Japan ambassador to Kabul, Hiroshi Takashi, said Peace Medical Services (PMC) as implementer of the project initiated the scheme in 2003 in Afghanistan and has transferred some 16,500 hectares of barren land into fertile ground through traditional cultivation and irrigation system in Kama, Khiwa and Behsood districts of Nangarhar so far. The project was implemented in cooperation with Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Speaking at a joint press conference with the Minister of Rural Rehabilitation and Development Nasir Ahmad Durani, and Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock Assadullah Zamir, Takashi said the project was effective in growth of agriculture in Gambiri desert in the province.

“Around 925,000 different kinds of trees have been planted in the mentioned areas. The areas are currently host to around 600,000 displaced people,” he added.

He said that the project was completed at the total cost of $20 million in the past 11 years. He added that the project created thousands of jobs.

He reiterated his country’s commitment to implement six other agricultural projects in different other provinces. He said that their stuffers didn’t face any security threat during implementation of the project.

“Economic growth is the need of the hour, which cannot be achieved without development of agriculture sector. Thus, Japan is committed to support Afghanistan in improving its agriculture sector,” he added.

Nasir Ahmad Durani commended Japan’s cooperation and said that implantation of the project is of great importance for Afghanistan. He said that the 16,500 hectares of fertile land in Gambiri desert will produce 45,920 tons of wheat annually.

He said that implementation of six other similar projects of Japan will enable Afghanistan to produce 1.8 tons of wheat in next five years.

Assadullah Zamir said that traditional agriculture and irrigation technology of Japan has yielded in positive results in Afghanistan.

He said all the concerned organization stands ready to cooperate with Japan implementation of the six other similar projects.

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