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We are revamping agriculture and livestock sectors: Minister

By Akhtar M. Nikzad-KABUL: The newly-appointed Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock (MAIL) on Saturday said that agriculture sector should be revamped for the common good of Afghans.

Briefing media-persons on the 100-day plan that he recently presented to the president, Asadullah Zamir said that without improvement in agriculture and livestock sectors, national development was not possible.

“Therefore, to support the development programs and restore public trust, the ministry’s 100-day action plan in divided into eight segments,” the minister said.

According to the action plan, expansion of irrigation system, food security and construction of wheat storage centers, increased production of fruit and vegetables, improvement of livestock, and transparency in recruitment system are top priorities of the ministry.

He said that awareness drives would be launched to protect the natural resources including forests.

The minister said that inauguration and completion of 13 irrigation canals in five zone; reconstruction of three others irrigation canals in Kabul, Nangarhar and Balkh provinces; survey and designing of 16 irrigation canals in Kabul, Parwan and Logar provinces; and construction of 200 water reservoirs in Kabul, Herat, Nangarhar, Kundoz, Kabul and Balkh provinces are on the cards.

He said that within the next 100 days, the ministry would draft the national irrigation plan. “Thirty solar water pumps in Herat, Balkh and Nangarhar provinces will be distributed, and all irrigation canals will be modernized and surveyed though the GIS [geographic information system],” Zamir said.

Speaking about the food security, he said that a comprehensive plan would be carved out to store wheat at stocks and utilize the wheat in emergency. He added that strategic stocks would be constructed for 2,5000 families in 10 different provinces.

Keeping the increased consumption of vegetables in view, he said the ministry has planned to build gardens on 3,500 acre lands in 15 provinces. He went on to say that 95 cold storage centers would be built in Nangarhar, Helmand, Badakhshan and Parwan provinces.

Control of  animals disease, establishing of 115 educational centers  for farmers, 30 mobile clinics, organizing of 10 public awareness units in 10 different provinces, construction of two poultry farms, establishment of a factory to produce food for chickens and various other project are on the table for improvement of the livestock sector, he said.

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